Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter-Cash sing a song entitled “Times A’ Wastin” that speaks about a couple noticing that “times a’ wastin” in their relationship and that they need to get a move on with their lives and focus on what’s important to them. Granted it uses little euphemisms popular in the type of songs that Cash and Carter-Cash sang together that detailed their rather interesting marriage, but their song speaks truth in the sense that time is slipping by quickly and we do not make time for the things that are important to us anymore. The question I have for you today is this: Since time is “a’ wastin” how can we better regulate our time that is reflective of both our spiritual walk with Christ and our daily lives in the real world?
In Gordon MacDonald’s book Ordering Your Private World, MacDonald devotes a section of his book to the use of time in a Christian’s life. One of the chapters is entitled “Has Anyone Seen My Time? I’ve misplaced it!” While a catchy title, it was convicting to me because we all struggle with time management and have forsaken other tasks for the “more important” ones. In the book MacDonald opens the chapter on time with a story of a young pastor who approached him after a lecture where he had just concluded with a list of books he had just read. The young pastor ever eager to learn some tricks of the trade asked him this “Where do you find the time to read all those books?” This seemingly harmless question opened the door to the pastor’s private world where MacDonald was able to discover that this young pastor was disorganized in his outer world because he was neglecting his private world. This is not an uncommon issue for men in the ministry or even the most devoted believer because we tend to fill up our schedules with meetings, assignments, extracurriculars, events, etc. Because of our busy schedules we often find it difficult to devote any time to our own personal walk with Christ. When we neglect or fail to devote time to our personal walk with Christ, we suffer in our ministries, our families, and even our own lives. This often leads to us to feelings of inadequacy and fatigue. We slowly begin to see our outer lives become more and more disorganized due to our neglect of personal time with God.
As followers of Christ we must develop a time to spend with God because everything else in our lives depends on it Believers both in the secular world and the ministry world understand that time management is crucial for their jobs and if they do not manage their time now, their time will manage them in the future. Spending time with God is the most important time that a believer can manage in their personal life. Christ was the expert on budgeting time during his 3 years in ministry. He was able to accommodate the smallest of children to the sickest of people he came across all because he knew how much time he had on this earth, and he knew that to be most effective he had to follow God in all work and deed. Christ budgeted his time when it came to discipleship and preaching. Even in the busyness of these demands, he still spent time with the Father. We must follow Christ’s example and budget our time effectively so that we do not let one of two things happen: Either we face burnout and pure disappointment in life due to a hectic and overfilled schedule, or we completely neglect our walk with God thinking that we can always make it up some other time or double up at the next quiet time or pray an extra 10 minutes longer. Both of these outcomes are easily avoided if we learn how to place importance on our personal time with God, and learn how to budget the rest of our time most effectively in a way that glorifies Him. No matter what we do in life, whether it’s a simple “Honey Do” list your wife may leave you on a Saturday or when preparing to preach on Sunday, budgeting your time effectively will improve your personal walk with Christ and leave you feeling accomplished with your day.