Most days, would you say you feel busy and tired or energized and fulfilled? Is your calendar filled with activities and responsibilities that feed your soul and help you fulfill your purpose, or do you find yourself chasing “urgent” yet largely insignificant fires? In short, are you in control of your schedule, or is your schedule controlling you?
Unchecked busyness often elevates our anxiety level in two ways. First, it creates an ongoing sense of urgency for which our minds and bodies weren’t created. Second, it can rob us of time for numerous important, soul-nourishing activities like exercise, engaging in a creative outlet, resting, enjoying nature, and connecting with our loved ones.
In Psalm 90:12, Moses, the man who liberated ancient Israel from 400 years of slavery, wrote this prayer, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom” (NLT). We read similar words in Ephesians 5:15-16 which state, “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days” (NLT). Both texts emphasize the brevity of life and the importance of living with God-led intentionality.
We cannot chase every fire tossed our way and faithfully follow God’s leading. At each moment, we will choose to do one over the other, but only one path leads to supernatural joy and peace.
When we learn to manage our time, in obedience to Christ, we’re more likely to accomplish our high-value tasks and reach our goals with reduced stress.
To experience the joy of God, regularly evaluate your responsibilities and calendar in light of your priorities. Does your schedule reflect what’s most important to you? What commitments did you accept out of obligation or your fear of rejection, and what are those burdens costing you? What is God asking you to eliminate so that you can create margin in your typical week?
2. Schedule free time.
When was the last time you enjoyed a completely uncommitted day? Do you remember the sense of relaxation and freedom, knowing you didn’t have anywhere to be or anything you necessarily had to get done?
We need space to simply be, but those simple, unhurried moments aren’t likely to arise naturally. We’ll need to block out sections of time where we can do whatever most nourishes our soul in the moment. Initially, this might feel uncomfortable, especially if we’re accustomed to a more rushed way of living. But soon, we’ll come to crave these guarded moments.
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