Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reflections on Time: A New Series

Welcome to our new guest post series about "time."  
How do we use it? Misuse it?  Many of us spend so much time complaining we don't have enough of it, but how often are we grateful for what we actually have?  It is a gift we receive every day...a fresh allotment.  But how will we spend it?  And what values shape how we use it?  As we reflect, may there be space to consider how and where we spend our precious seconds of this gift.
The pocket watch I used in this picture belonged to my grandfather.  If you ask me, he ran out of time too early.  I never got ask him about how he liked the Marine Corps or how he met my Grannie.  I couldn't ask him about growing up in the Lawty house in Florida, what his mom was like, or how he felt when my dad broke his bed because he had been jumping on it (again).

He left my sweet grandmother a widow far too early.  My dad was just nine and his brother just two.  How do children comprehend such things?

He's been gone so long, missed so fiercely, talked about much, but what would he say about how he spent his time?  How would he evaluate it and would he make the same choices had he known his time was shorter than the average life?

It's no use pondering how much time we have left on this earth and in many ways, it is out of our control.  But perhaps there is value in reflecting on how closely our time spent matches our value system.  Do our daily, practical decisions match the tenets we have chosen to lay down for the foundation of our lives?  Are there contradictions, and if so, what are they?  It's hard to have a peaceful spirit when things are out of alignment.

As I've reflected on how I use {and misuse} time, here are some of the contradictions I have found in my life:

Contradiction {1}
I pray for God to direct my steps, but then I get anxious when the plans I have made go awry or I am unable to accomplish things on my to-do list.  Do I really mean it when I ask Him to be Lord over my day? Am I willing to surrender to whatever it is He has for me?

Contradiction {2}
I say that I live for God alone - for His glory and purpose - but often I'll spend more time engaging with social media to keep my stats up than sitting and learning with Him.  It is difficult to live for God alone when I'm out there saying "look at me!" Do I check my spirit before I spend time on social media?  What is the heart behind why I am on there at that moment?

Contradiction {3}
I believe there is nothing He can't redeem and mistakes are a part of life, but often if things are not stacking up to being completed/clean/on-time, I am overcome by an impulse to rush to make it so.  This simply causes me to be impatient with my family and with myself.  My grace towards others (and myself) quickly vacates the premises and I hurt those whom I declare I love the most.  Can I entertain the notion that perhaps my desire to rush is actually God's prompting to slow...and reorient my trust in Him rather than myself and my own abilities?

What about you? As you reflect on how you spend your time and compare this to your foundational beliefs, do you find harmony or discord?  Or, a little of both?

(If you would like to guest post your thoughts about time, please let me know.)

Linking with EmilyMichele and Jenifer today.

8 comments :

  1. Great post, Jen! I have been thinking about my time a lot lately. I am in the mist of doing school lesson plans for the next month, making our daily routine and trying to figure out how I will get done all I need to get done each day. I want to honor God with my time, but there are days that go by and I feel as though I wasted the entire day. Time has definitely been the focus of my prayers lately!

    Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday! God bless!

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  2. So thankful I took the time to read this, to know that I am not alone with the struggle with time and trust...Thanks for your wisdom Jen.

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  3. Dear Jen
    I hear your heart, but I think everything you do is so op important to God! Even a post you write can be for His glory if you allow His grace to lead you in your words!
    Blessings XX
    Mia

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  4. I really enjoyed you post Jen. I can definitely fall into the trap of rushing when I need to just be still and patient. Looking forward to more posts.

    Dream Beautiful www.angelamaycompany.com

    xoxo

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  5. Kind of like you with the last one: I tell Him his timing is perfect but when He asks me to wait on Him, I despair, get depressed, doubt, wonder, and obsess. I look forward to your series.

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  6. Jen, your observations are very wise. Your third point resonated with me--I so often rush in WAY to soon (verbally) with a solution to a question or problem without being patient enough to listen to input from all sides. I REALLY need to work on that--I think discretion is key here, actually, 'cause I end up jumping to conclusions and interrupting. Not good. Grown ups shouldn't do that. I WANT to show people the grace and patience of Jesus, so that's what I need to lean into and trust that He will work in my life, instead of being impatient.

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  7. "It's hard to have a peaceful spirit when things are out of alignment." This just about sums it up, Jen. And I confess to Contradiction #2. Mea culpa! May we all have a greater sense of the primacy of our time... and our correct use of it.

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  8. oh girl, you are so good at exposing truth and challenging our hearts ... i love you. e.

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