How Do You Plan to Spend your Life?
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
It does not stop.
No matter how I feel, no matter what I’m thinking. The clock ticks on. It is 9:20 on a Wednesday morning, not unlike any other Wednesday. Yet once this moment passes it becomes memory only. I cannot revisit it. It’s time gone forever.
9:21. Did I spend my last minute well? I can’t gain it back at this point.
Annie Dillard said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
On a minute-by-minute basis, it’s easy to reflect on how my time is spent. But usually, I’m not conscious of the clock on the wall. Truthfully, I can find myself blowing out my birthday candles wondering where the last year went.
Time is a precious commodity; it must be spent well.
With only twenty-four hours in a day, I need to be more aware of what I’m doing. Do my actions fit my values?
I value my family and friends, education and learning, a strong work ethic. I value health and my faith. Within my day, I need to look at how much time is spent with my husband, my children, my parents, and my friends. I need to consider how much time is spent reading and studying. How much effort goes into maintaining my health? How much time goes into work to earn a living? Most importantly, how much time do I spend with God?
“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NIV)
If I have only sixteen hours in a day (after sleeping), do I devote the right proportions to my values? Ideally, if I were to divide up my time, I should spend about three hours with family and friends, three hours in study, three hours earning a living, three hours on my health, and about three hours with God.
Put that way, I see that I fall considerably short of my goal.
So where does my time go? Time stealers can include distracting habits such as watching television and surfing the Internet.
Not that I want to be rigid with how I spend my time, but I do need to be aware. I need to set aside my time to exercise, read and pray, just as importantly as I set aside my time to sleep.
I need to be aware of time wasters and instead fill my hours with the things I truly value.
9:36. Today, I plan to include work to pay the bills, strength train for health, phone friends, read a chapter from my book and spend time quietly with God.
How do you plan to spend your life?
Kimberley J. Payne
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