By Kristi Johnson
We have exactly 39 clocks in our house. Each is tick, tick, ticking away every day. Every hour. Every minute. Every second. Some clocks are worn on our wrists. Some are on our smartphones. One rests on our nightstand, one on the microwave, and others are scattered throughout our home.
Unfortunately, none of these clocks can actually GIVE us more time than God has already assigned us. As much as we would love to have more hours in the day, it’s impossible. Even the writer of Ecclesiastes recognized this, long before Fit Bits™ and microwave clocks made their way into our lives. Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us there is a time for everything. To live. To die. To laugh. To cry. To get. To lose. A time for every purpose and every work. How can we use this time we have been given to its fullest, glorifying God with each passing tick of the clock?
1. Ask God to show us what activities take priority. The ladies in our church in Alpedrete are currently studying The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. We’ve been learning to say no to certain things so we will have the energy to say yes to what God truly wants for us. Interestingly, sometimes we must say no to something good to say yes to something better. It’s all about identifying priority.
2. Decide to make a change. Albert Einstein famously stated, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” How many times have I insanely tried to keep a full schedule with overlapping events, just to find myself feeling rushed, never fully completing tasks? I need to make a change. While some things will inevitably be on my calendar, I have identified margins of time each day to set aside for moments when someone has a need or a friend wants to share coffee and discuss pressing issues in her life. Making this change has helped me rid myself of the constant insanity.
3. Follow a plan. What are we doing with the 168 hours in each week? Fellow missionary in France, Cristina Price, recently introduced me to the concept of a “bullet journal,” which has helped me focus on completing each day’s tasks without being distracted by things that cannot possibly be accomplished in just one day. You probably know exactly what I mean if you’re an avid maker of to-do lists. When your list includes not only daily tasks, but also things that cannot possibly be finished in a day, you are left feeling frustrated. While staying focused on what is ahead of me, I’ve been able to follow a plan for how I will spend the hours God has given me in each day.
4. Use time wisely. Just this morning, as I walked by the local grocery store near our apartment, I saw a sign announcing the death of an employee. A 40-year-old man, he has worked in the poultry department since we moved to Alpedrete. People all over town were shocked. Who would have thought this young father would step into eternity overnight after a motorcycle accident? Many people in Alpedrete still need to hear the gospel before they face eternity. May we use our time wisely as we share our faith with those around us who still need to know God.
According to Ecclesiastes 3:11, God has placed eternity in our hearts: A time to live; a time to die. How will we glorify Him with the time in between?
About the Writer: Kristi Johnson and her family are missionaries to Alpedrete, Spain. Learn more: www.fwbgo.com.