Sadness of Passing time (Pt. 2)

Old man astonished as he looks at his pocket watch..

This is the second part of the short blog series, “Sadness of Passing Time”. If you haven’t read last week’s post, you should do so. I can’t say that you will miss anything if you only read this, but you will understand and enjoy this post even better if you read the “prologue”. Remember to share this post and leave a comment on your thoughts below.

 

As we saw last week, we need to realize that our time is short. We need to “realize that time is passing”. I still work on making the best use of my time. I have been really meditating on the visual that I used of the signs that yield us to be aware of falling rocks on a road. It’s been interesting to think what I am in control of during any situation. You learn that there are things you just can’t worry about and if you are in control of those things, you are able to put more time and attention to it.

How do you use your time?

No matter where yo are in life, we become anxious and frustrated as we analyze the lack of time we have. Let’s be real, if you tell yourself you will “accomplish a task when you have more time”, you will most likely find yourself doing nothing about it. A day when you say you’ll have time is an illusion. We find ourselves fixated on what we are doing now that we do not think that we have time for anything else. We need self-discipline and that is not easy to achieve, either. We need to step up and change how we use our time. There will always be 24 hours a day (23 hours and 56 minutes, to be exact), 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, etc. Time never changes, meaning you will never have more time to do an additional task throughout your week unless you change what you are already doing.
Portrait of Andrew Murray

Look around and see how others use their time. Someone who I’ve looked up to is Andrew Murray (May 1828 – January 1917). He was an author who strived to be a man of God and you can definitely see those results through his writing. From a young age, he always dreamt of becoming a minister. As a missionary in South Africa, he founded the Bible and Prayer Union and the Huguenot Seminary, where young women were able to receive an education. He became a prestigious preacher in South Africa and New Zealand. And like I said, he is well known for his writing and bible interpretations. I can’t fathom the things that he did with the 80+ years that he was given on Earth. If you can’t relate, then think of someone like Steve Jobs, or someone else who you look up to. You look up to them, because they have done something in life that you admire. They have accomplished something that has great influence in your life. Steve Jobs helped found the prominent company, Apple, and he didn’t receive any superpowers that enabled him to achieve that. Andrew Murray and Steve Jobs were given the same amount of time to achieve that. They had 7 days a week and 24 hours in a day just like us. If you read about someone’s life like Andrew Murray or Steve Jobs, you can see that they had challenges and obstacles that needed to be faced. They were in the place they were in, because they fought for it and they weren’t given more time. They couldn’t cheat the game of life. These men had goals and priorities. I’m not saying we should be envious, either. Everyone is bound to have a different schedule and priorities. That is what makes us who we are. That is what makes You unique.

What are the consequences? If we don’t manage our time wisely, we will lose the opportunity to do something that matters. It’s not rocket science that we can always do something better with our time and you know what that could be. Like I said in last week’s post, if you usually ask me what I have done over the weekend, I may be telling you something, but may always come back to, “I could have done something more productive.” If you ask me, I probably could have said that I spent a little too much time on YouTube (more on that later). For myself, I know that there is always time to have Quiet Time and spend time with God. There is always a time to do homework or even time to work on one of these posts for the site. There is always room to learn more, whether that is reading from the good ol’ Holy Bible or a Christian non-fictional book. And it does not have to be a Christian book. If you are learning something that will help you in your profession, then awesome! For each one of you reading this, you have an idea of what that task may be that would be more beneficial for you to do. Honestly, if you are using this time as an excuse to not do what is important, then put the screen aside and finish reading this blog at a later point. Yes, I’m that serious about this!

Right now, we are too worried about the things that we can’t cancel on or push back to a later time. For those in school, we know that we can’t procrastinate going to class if we want to continue our education. When you have a job, you will be given tasks and deadlines. If you push those back, then say goodbye to your job. You’ll get fired sooner or later, because it doesn’t seem like you care about it if you don’t fight for it. When there is a family involved, I’m sure that your wife/husband and kids will require your time and attention and there is no reason as to why you wouldn’t want to give that to them. If we push God on the back burner, there will come a point where we will know what He thinks when time comes for our judgment. Like any other job or class, if we show that we don’t care enough to make our relationship with Him number one in our life, then He will look at us like strangers. Jesus definitely made that clear in Matthew 7:21-23. He knows our hearts and intentions. Make time for what and who is important.

To make it simple; if we lack the ability to better manage our time, we will be quitting things that we know we should be doing. I also believe that without proper discipline, we will stop doing the few things that we know are more important. Filling ourselves with so many unnecessary things will dilute our body, mind, and soul from Godly things.

3 Circles of Focus

Another interesting way to look at how you should worry is by looking at the “3 Circles of Focus” that surround any individual.
 3 Circles indicating the circles of focus.
The largest circle, “the Circle of Concern”, represents what is happening in the world. Everyone wants to be in the know of things, but there is only so far that you can go with the knowledge you take in. To give you an idea, read a news website or the newspaper for a few minutes to see what’s going on, but put it down. This needs your awareness, not your full attention and time.
The second circle, “the Circle of Influence”, includes the people around you; your friends, neighbors, co-workers, children, parents, etc. You can have an impact on these peoples’ lives. Although you have concern for the world, you can’t influence that, but you can influence the people around you. You can teach and talk to someone about this time management idea, but you can’t force them to stop doing certain things that cause them to procrastinate.We can influence people, but we can’t control them.
Finally, the most important part of the “3 Circles of Focus”, “the Circle of Control”. What can you do about the situation that you are in? What you can control the most is yourself. You can’t pick what job hires you, but you can control what you do to be able to put on your resume. If you say you don’t have time, then wake up earlier to make time to be with Jesus. It makes no sense worrying what you can’t control.

Where can you fit your time?

Look back at what you have done with your time over the past week. Where has that time gone? Now, look back at what you have been doing the last 6 months. The last year. Where did most of your time go to? Remember that part where I told you I had a problem with YouTube? Well, when I was a freshman in college, I first realized that I had a problem with watching videos online. I realized that I spent so many hours doing that “harmless” task. I spent about 4-5 hours a day. It was a part of my life and I did not stop automatically. It took some time to be where I am today. Looking back now, I realized that I could fit years of my life on a screen. I didn’t do much with what I watched, so my life didn’t go any further than the frame of my laptop or my phone.

One thing to understand is that our life should go beyond that and it ultimately does. As a friend and follower of God, I can’t fit Him or anything I do inside any screen or box. I can’t fit those I have lead and discipled inside a box. Realizing that, I know that my life has more purpose knowing that I’m using my time more wisely. So, how will you manage your time? Prioritizing our time is focusing on what you can control. It is the wisest thing that you can do. It is not worrying about the falling rocks that will happen regardless of what your actions are. If you need to change your schedule to meet some of this criteria, then do it! Like I mentioned, in the “3 Circles of Focus”, you are a part of my circle of influence. I can’t make you do any of this. I only hope that you make a wise decision and put something down that is wasting your time. Don’t fit what is important in a box that will only limit its capabilities.

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