The foundation of biblical time management.
To continue the “pillars” analogy, something I did not mention as a pillar in my previous post is God. That’s because God is not a pillar in my life; He’s the foundation. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being …” Acts 17:28. He infuses all the other things that I do.
Biblical time management builds on a platform that is radically different from any other management methods, namely a relationship with God, the solid Rock. This is the foundation on which all the other pillars stand, and naturally, the single most important factor in the whole picture.
Several things naturally ensue when we have a good foundation. First, the pillars can actually stand still, whereas if we don’t, stability is infeasible. Things can still be shaky when we have a solid foundation, but if we don’t, they can never be not shaky. Second, it buffers unexpected movements or perturbations that may take place. It means that when winds blow, the pillars won’t sway as much.
I don’t know how it works, but it does. Personal, quiet time with God is indispensable to good time management. It’s the key to sanity, really. When we ensure that this happens, when we truly experience communion with God, things simply settle. At the very least, the mind is settled and the soul is calm, and that makes a big difference.
Yet, this is more than an exchange, if at all. Meaning, I don’t spend time with God so that my pillars won’t sway. It may start that way, but something else happens in the process – I just want to be with God for who He is. It doesn’t really matter whether all other things are shaking or not; most likely they do stabilize, but that’s secondary in nature.
What’s a wonder to me is that when it comes to God, time is not a constraint; the math simply doesn’t add up. Somehow, I would have more time to do more things. For example, if I think I only have X amount of time to do 5 things, and so I crowd God out of my schedule, what usually happens is that I run out of time (i.e., X/5 amount of time to do each task, where X is a positive number, is not enough). Naturally, time’s already tight anyway. But when I add God to my schedule, like allocate more time to study His Word, pray, and remain in quietness, it may seem like the time to do the original 5 things is less (i.e., now I have X/6 instead of X/5 amount of time to do each task). As it turns out however, I would end up with not only enough time to do 6 things, I actually would have some more extra time. Go figure! It’s supernatural. Maybe God stretches out time, maybe He makes me more efficient, maybe He shapes the circumstances such that what I do in the given time suffices, or maybe it’s a combination of all of those. I don’t know.
Have I been to both ends of the spectrum? Absolutely. If anyone wants a sure recipe for life to fall apart, or bitterness, just leave God behind. I don’t recommend it. I’ve been so frazzled because I would crowd God out of my life, and I’ve been in moments where I would be amazed at the present reality, at how well things are going – “Is this for real?” These highest points correlate with the times when I’d study the Bible more than usual, typically to investigate a question or an issue. This type of search can make me not want to go to bed and so eager to wake up. It’s exhilarating and I’m a much happier person when this happens. Maybe things just don’t seem as bad when I have this kind of existence. Somehow, although my mind is more occupied even when I’m doing all the other stuffs, the results still turn out fine. Again, I don’t know how this works.
The things that are hard constraints for us are variables for God. He can shape and mold circumstances, and His hands can play with immaterial things – things that we can’t necessarily quantify. That means, when we schedule our days with this Being who sees time as an elastic material, we’re in for some crazy and mind-blowing rides.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matt 6:33-34.