I’m writing about gobblers today–not the ones we see at Thanksgiving–but the mischievous time gobblers. These pesky critters
Time gobblers often dress in communication garb with accessories like text messages and phone calls. Some of them masquerade as computer or cell notifications. Others disguise themselves as those alluring store flyers with “SALE ENDS FRIDAY” and nest in my mailbox.
When I walk through my house, more of these nuisances demand attention-swallowing valuable moments. A wilting plant, a card to mail, a stained shirt, a crooked lampshade, and, as the king in the musical “The King and I” said, “Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.”
I start each day with intentions of productivity, but some days, as soon as I gain momentum, WHAM! The time-chomping pests attack and I’m off-task.
What do your time gobblers look and sound like? And how do you conquer them? How do you stay on track and focus on what’s most important?
Sometimes when I’m bombarded with distractions and numerous options for time use, it’s difficult to distinguish between good choices and the best choice. I’m asking God to help me use time for His glory as He reveals His will. I want to choose wisely.
In Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles E. Hummel, the author differentiates between the urgent and the important. He warns that seemingly urgent tasks may rob us of the opportunity to meet an important goal. 1
Mr. Hummel poses the question, “What was the secret of Jesus’ ministry?” The thought captured my attention.
I considered how Jesus took time to speak with the woman at the well, to visit with Zacchaeus in his home, to heal the lame, and to feed the crowd. However, as the author pointed out, Jesus did not instantly meet the needs of all who clamored for His attention (Mark 1:35-39, John 11:1-6) but remained focused on the Father’s will.
Near the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus said to His Father,
I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.John 17:4
I long to accomplish the work God gives me to do, to have my plans aligned with His. Isn’t that your desire as well? Let’s ask ourselves these questions:
- What gifts did God give me for His glory?
- How can I use each twenty-four-hour period to honor Him?
- Am I caring for my physical, emotional, and spiritual health?
- Am I wasting time or using it to honor Christ daily as I balance rest and activity?
- How can I know God’s will for me?
The following verse demonstrates a practice of Jesus:
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.Mark 1:35
Jesus prayed at various times of
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.Psalm 32:8
As the holidays approach, let’s consider how His will might differ from ours. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to approach the next three months filled with the peace of Christ as we seek His will and use time wisely?
Please share the ways you plan your days or tell us about a time when God’s plans differed from yours. Until we meet again, watch out for those time gobblers!
1Hummel, Charles E. Tyranny of the Urgent. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994.