Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Time Keeps on Slipping into the Future...

This is the first line in Steve Miller's song "Fly Like an Eagle" - it was also in the motion-picture soundtrack for Space-Jam - remember it? If you know me a bit, I definitely stretch the clock. For me it seems time keeps on slipping and that I'm losing against this race with the clock. I'm learning though that we each get the exact same amount of hours every day. I found a helpful article by R. C. Sproul in April on our rez's kitchen table at TBS that spoke some sense into me. I lost the article but with a little web-surfing found it hidden in an article by C. J. Mahaney (who also really enjoyed it).
Here are Sproul's 7 tricks on using the time we are given to glorify God, instead of wasting it:

First, I realize that all of my time is God’s time and all of my time is my
time by His delegation. God owns me and my time. Yet, He has given
me a measure of time over which I am a steward. I can commit that
time to work for other people, visit other people, etc. But it is time for
which I must give an account.

Second, time can be redeemed by concentration and focus. One of the
greatest wastes of time occurs in the human mind. Our hands may be
busy but our minds idle. Likewise, our hands may be idle while our
minds are busy. Woolgathering, day‐dreaming, and indulging in
frivolous fantasy are ways in which thoughts may be wasted in real
time. To focus our minds on the task at hand—with fierce
concentration—makes for productive use of time.

Third, the mind can redeem valuable time taken up by ordinary or
mechanical functions. For example, the mechanics of taking a shower
are not difficult. In this setting the mind is free for problem solving,
creative thinking, or the composition of themes. Many of my
messages and lectures are germinated in the shower. When I used to
play a lot of golf, I found that the time I had between shots was a
great time for composing messages in my mind.

Fourth, use your leisure time for pursuits that are life enriching.
Leisure time is often spent on avocations. Reading is a valuable use of
time. It enriches life to read outside of your major field or area of
expertise. Augustine once advised believers to learn as much as
possible about as many things as possible, since all truth is God’s
truth. Other avocations that are enriching include the arts. I like to
study the piano and I dabble in painting. No one will ever mistake me
for a serious musician or an accomplished artist. But these avocations
open up the world of beauty to me that enhances my view of God
and His manifold perfections. I also enjoy working cross‐word puzzles
to warm up the little gray cells and to expand my vista of verbal

Fifth, find ways to cheat the “Sand Man.” Several years ago I had an
epiphany about time management. Though my life‐long pattern had
been to stay up late at night I realized that for me, the hours between
9–12 p.m. were not very productive. I reasoned that if I used those
hours to sleep I might secure more time for more productive things.
Since then my habit has been to retire between 8–9 p.m. when
possible and rise at 4 a.m. This has effected a wonderful revolution
for my schedule. The early hours of the day are a time free from
distractions and interruptions, a marvelous time for study, writing,
and prayer…. 

Sixth, use drive‐time for learning. Driving a car is another mechanical
function that allows the mind to be alert to more than what is
happening on the roadway. The benefits of audio tape can be put to
great use during these times. I can listen to lectures and instructional
tapes while driving, thereby redeeming the time.

Finally, in most cases a schedule is more liberating than restricting.
Working with a schedule helps enormously to organize our use of
time. The schedule should be a friend, not an enemy. I find it freeing
in that the schedule can include time for leisure, recreation, and
avocation. It helps us find the rhythm for a God‐glorifying productive

The article “Time Well Spent: Right Now Counts Forever” by Dr. R.C. Sproul and published in Tabletalk magazine (September 1997, pp. 4–7).

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