Have you ever pondered the number of hours you would need in a day if you were to do absolutely everything you were supposed to do? I am talking about diligently brushing your teeth three times a day, flossing, exercising, stretching, drinking eight glasses of water, getting a full eight hours of sleep, eating healthy meals, sticking to your budget, learning something new, etc..
Don’t forget the things you should be doing regularly, such as check-ups, car maintenance, yard work, changing furnace filters, figuring out the five things you are thankful for today – the list is endless!
Add to the must-dos the things you really want to do like, spending time with God, getting together with friends, reading the book everyone is talking about, or finally taking that dream trip. Life can feel like a swirling chaos. Overwhelming! That doesn’t even include pursuing a fulfilling life.
That’s why the idea of a 48 hour day is appealing! More time for me to get it all done. With just 24 hours in a day, it feels impossible. And it is! I wasn’t created to do it all!
God’s heart for me is not that I would do more, but that I would do less and more honorably reflect Him in the process. Rather than indulging in longer days, I need to be more focused on who He created me to be and the unique purpose He has for my life.
Are you ready to do less? Consider the following:
1. Make time with God a priority
When I spend time alone with God He fills me up and guides me. He brings new realizations, fresh ideas, and clear directions that end up saving me frustration and time.
It is a step of faith for me to make time for Him. I must trust Him to help me accomplish what’s really important.
2. Get clear on YOU
When I find myself lacking direction and spending my time in arbitrary ways, I can be certain that I am lacking clarity in my life. The more clear I am about who God created me to be and do, my choices about how to spend my time are more intentional.
Taking the time to clarify my values, priorities, and purpose for my life will direct how I use my time and energy and what I need to eliminate. The more I understand my personality and strengths, the easier it will be to know which opportunities are best suited for me. Even an awareness of my love language or preferences will enable me to make wiser choices.
3. Stop comparing
My purpose and journey are unique to me. It will not look like your journey or anyone else’s journey. If I am comparing myself to others, I will be tempted to do things that will inhibit my progress and complicate my journey.
4. Trust the process
I am a focused, goal oriented person. I get annoyed when I am forced to slow down. God has a difference perspective on reaching goals. He cares more about who I am in the process, and He has so much more for me to accomplish along the way. He wants to also tackle changing my heart and using me to make a difference in the lives of others.
I must trust the process when it takes longer reach a goal than I would like. When I am able to embrace the obstacles and interruptions as opportunities from God, He is able to accomplish the most amazing things – things I could have never orchestrated on my own and that leave me feeling blessed and fulfilled.
5. Make margin a must
In order for God to be able to do those amazing things, there needs to be space in my day. When I schedule things back to back, it is exhausting and leaves very little space for the unexpected. Before I know it things begin stacking up and I find myself in that overwhelmed place.
Thinking I need to do it all or packing my schedule is a sign that I need to re-evaluate. It is time to ask myself some hard things: Who am I trying to impress? Who am I trying to please? Where in my life am I being self-centered? Where am I trying to be more to others than I should? Am I trying to make myself feel important? Accomplished? Or worthy?
These days wearing the busy badge is a badge of honor and yet it can leave me feeling exhausted, worn out, and unfulfilled. I confess my days are full. I like them that way. I have, however, sworn off using the word busy in an effort to keep my focus on the full-filling ways God has given me to spend my days in this season of life.
The Message puts it well: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30
God doesn’t want me to be frazzled. He is eager to show me what can happen in my 24 hour day when I am diligent and allow Him to make up for my lack with His power and abilities.
How about you? Where do you need to make some adjustments when it comes to time?
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