Time – Listening to the Silence and Finding God

How Much Time Can You Afford to Waste?

Time and Man - A Studio 1-37 original imageHow did you spend your time this week? As you look back do you feel that your week rushed by resulting in a less than peaceful life simply because you didn’t have time? Do you fear you waste your minutes and just simply aren’t doing the one thing you know you should do? It does seem like when we aren’t accomplishing that ”one thing” that we have no time for anything else. Have we become the busiest people in the world running the race of life while the clock ticks on?

In Fr. Jacques Philippe’s book, Time for God, there is a mathematically calculated schedule which compares life from birth to 70 with the preserved waking hours of a single day from seven in the morning until eleven at night. The chart determines a person’s current age to their equivalent of time in a day giving a visual idea of how much time one may have left ticking in life on earth give or take a few hours.

For example, if your age is:

 15, the time is 10:25am
20, the time is 11:34am
25, the time is 12:42pm
30, the time is 1:51pm
35, the time is 3:00pm
40, the time is 4:08pm
45, the time is 5:16pm
50, the time is 6:25pm
55, the time is 7:34pm
60, the time is 8:42pm
65, the time is 9:51pm
70, the time is 11pm!

As I calculated my time equivalent I realized that, well it was getting late. Not so late to not enjoy the evening but I certainly didn’t have the day to waste. It made me really want to make bigger plans and add to the time left but obviously that is not the answer for a more productive life.

Learning to Save Time

Most people want to be successful and productive at everything yet it seems we go about achieving that the wrong way. Somehow by cramming more into our already busy life we have the mindset that we are doing more, when we are actually accomplishing less. There is some good advice from some of what the world considers its busiest people and it seems they all pretty much agree with how to achieve more. Apparently to get more done you really have to do less.

Successful accomplishment of time and tasks begins by learning to manage every minute of time we hold. Managing our time by the minute includes all facets of life not just work related. It means managing the fulfilling parts of life that encompass why God created us and how to be the people He wants us to be.

As we realize that we must indeed manage our minutes to reach our full God potential, we learn that it is important to categorize the urgent and the important. Former U. S. President, Dwight Eisenhower, said, ”Most things which are urgent are not important, and most things which are important are not urgent.” By determining the urgent and important, effective management is in place leading us quickly to discern the necessary ability to put aside the things that fall outside of those perimeters.

The final key to getting more done by doing less is learning to say no. Too often we find ourselves caught up in a moment where we agree to take on extra things for whatever our good intentions may be. So in learning to say no the urgent and important finds itself evaluated giving us more freedom with our minutes.

What Will You Do with the Rest of Your Time?

Learning time management skills really leads to what you ultimately desire, which is perfect peace. Determining what compass to use in order to live life to the fullest and achieve that level of peace is necessary. This week’s focus verse sets the compass in place with the needle pointing only towards home for perfect peace comes only from learning to be still with God. When your eyes fix on Christ, whether in the calm or in the storm, the stillness of His presence clearly communicates His unchanging love through His mighty power. This ultimate perfect peace comes only from being in the great presence of God.

It may seem like in your busy world that fitting God into the schedule is extra time you just can’t afford. However, by taking time to discern the important and saying no to everything else you find not only the added the hours you need but experience a life of peace achieving what God destined you to do.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

The Practice of the Presence

Perfect peace comes from being in the necessary presence of God but it takes practice. You must allow yourself to experience a deeper and richer relationship with Him by fixing on this single focus and blocking out other distractions. Learn to simply be with Him. Too often there is a pushed need to speak with petitions when in prayer. But talk is not necessary, sometimes listening is the key. In the quiet of the moment without thinking, planning, or petitioning stilling your mind results in an astounding peace.

Scheduling specific time and routines aid in the practice of His presence. Setting aside this precious time during the busy day leads to not only a more peaceful life but also increased productivity in other parts of your life. This gained peace leads to a more relaxed person which stimulates additional creativity to help overcome other life obstacles. Above it all simply resting in the knowledge that God is in control provides a resulting peace that carries you calm and stable into the next moments of life.

In the loudness of life that pushes, presses, and squeezes be challenged to be quiet with God allowing your soul to concentrate and focus your attention on God remembering that He is always present. In this you find a deeper and richer relationship with Him as you allow Him to hold your trust in His hands. Quieting your mind with fixed thoughts upon Him result in the perfect peace your soul desires. This perfect peace is within your reach and will indeed calm and comfort you in life.

Can you afford to not take the time to seek Him out?

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

The quieter you become, the more you can hear.

Ram Dass

Extra Study

Isaiah 57:19, Acts 2:39, Ephesians 2:17, Hebrews 13:15

Credits
Dockweiler, S. (n.d.). Get Advice/5 Productivity Tips From the Busiest People in the World. Retrieved from The Muse.com: https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-productivity-tips-from-the-busiest-people-in-the-world

Gaborit, C. (2014, October 3). How to Be Successful at Everything/Time Management Tips from the World's Busiest People. Retrieved from Fast Company.com: https://www.fastcompany.com/3036558/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/time-management-tricks-from-the-worlds-busiest-people

Hoffer, E. (1990, May). Bits and Pieces, p. 1.

Lawrence, B. (1982). The Practice of the Presence of God (abridged edition). New Kensington: Whitaker House.

Philippe, F. J. (2008). Time for God, (English translation). New York: Scepter Publishers Inc.

What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion

Do you find it difficult to fit God into your schedule? Have you actively practiced achieving the presence of God through being still? Join us in discussion on how you spend your time with God.

How God is working through your life?