Life can be busy. There always seems to be more to fill the day than we are able to accomplish. More left on the ‘to do’ list then what is listed on the ‘to done’ list at the end of the day. It seems that the day is no longer long enough to fit in everything that is demanded and expected of us. Quality personal time and has almost disappeared. What spare time we do have is absorbed by mindless watching of television because we are simply too tired to think or interact in a healthy way with other people.
Recently I have been working at unflattering my time and this freeing time each day to be me and to have quality time for both me and for God. It seems that the first consequence of this fast-paced life we lead is that we lose a meaningful connection with both ourselves and then with the living God whom we are called to worship and fellowship with. So, I have been examining everything that happening in an average week – What I do, when I do it, why I do it, with whom I do it, and the results of the activity. The result of this questioning and probing is I have found three filters that help me to eliminate unnecessary clutter in my life. These are really simple:
The key question here is: Will it bring true satisfaction?
A lot of things I was involved in were simply ‘spinning my wheels.’ I did them because I have always done them. I was comfortable doing them. I even enjoyed doing some of them. So, I am learning to ask: Is this something that will bring true satisfaction to my life? Is this linked inside to “God-given desires” that are in my heart? Because, if it is not something that enables me to see these God-given desires come to fruition then I should not be investing my time in them.
The key question here: Does it align with God’s purpose for my life in this season?
The call upon our lives changes regularly as we mature in our relationship with the Lord and become trained and equipped to accomplish the things He has called us to accomplish. As a result we need to be aware of what we are currently being called to do for the Lord. Then, we can ask the question: Does it align with God’s purpose for my life in this season of my life? If the answer is ‘no’ then we have every right to say ‘no’ to the many opportunities we have to become involved in good and even wonderful things. Maybe we can become involved in these things later, in a different season – but right now there are other things God is asking us to invest our time in.
The key question here is: Does it help me lead a life of significance?
By keeping my eye on what God has called me to do, I can filter out things that only hold temporal value. This doesn’t mean I say yes only to deep, spiritually significant commitments. If something of godly but temporal value is refreshing and spiritually challenging, empowering me in my walk with the Lord, then I become involved. It helps me to lead a life of significance. It encourages me in my overall call and vision for my life.
Following these three key areas and answering these three key questions is allowing me to filter out many activities and involvements that were good and, at times, even enjoyable but not always productive or beneficial to the Kingdom or to fulfilling the current call in this season of my life. Time is limited and there are only three things we can do with it – waste it, spend it, and invest it. God wants us to invest in significant things that help Him to expand His Kingdom upon the earth.