August 29, 2010

Limited By Design

Many of us often try to game the system. It is what we do in order to stuff more activity into our busy lives. Unfortunately, gaming the system often doesn't yield the results we would hope for or expect.

Honestly, it doesn't matter how much we try to game the system. The truth remains that our time on earth IS limited, and not only is it limited, it is limited by design.

Limited time forces us to decisively choose and show those around us what, and sometimes more importantly, who is really most important to us. Essentially, how we choose to spend our time is the true comparison of who we say we are and the person we really are.

For instance, we can say that we love God. But, if we fail to spend time with Him, our actions don't match our talk. We can say that we love our families, but if all they ever see is an empty chair, won't they question what we say is most important? Time is limited, and sometimes we have to make tough choices about how we are going to spend it.

Which is why it means so much when someone chooses to spend their own time with us. Haven't the richest times in your life been the times filled with people that care for you enough that they spend their time with you, helping you to grow, learn, and laugh? Are they not the times when someone has comforted us in a hard time, shared in our time of success, or simply listened when we were in need of another perspective?

Even when there was no apparent gain for them, someone has invested something in you they can never get back. The truth is once you decide how you choose to spend your time, you can never get it back. It is gone, and never again can you walk in those exact seconds and minutes.

Perhaps, God ultimately wants to see how we react when faced with the finite before He allows us to swim in the depths of the infinite.

What are you really telling those around you is most important in your life?

August 21, 2010

Gaming the system...

Sometimes, it seems like there is simply not enough time.

Our lives are full of so much restless activity! Of course, there are some things we have to do. (I personally believe this list is a lot shorter than most people think it really is.) There are some things we choose to do, and then there are the things we would love to do, if only time permitted.

In an effort to get more done in less time, we try to game the system. We spend lots of time and money on fancy time management systems, go to day long seminars learning how to best put our rocks in a bucket, and spend hours crafting daily plans attempting to account for how and where we are going to spend our time down to the minute.

Few will ultimately put any of these plans into action, and of the few that do manage to start, many will abandon their plans when real life floods over them.

Some of us try to game the system in other ways. We go to bed late and get up early, seeing sleep as a mere inconvenience. Often, the sleep that we are missing out on is filled with gallons of caffeinated beverages.

I have been, and to some extent, still am both of these individuals.

What does all of this gaming cost us? An article on WebMD points out that chronic sleep deprivation results in reduced performance, alertness, quality of life, and can even lead to heart attacks and strokes!

What about the schedulers and optimizers among us? Are they ruled by the schedule, becoming frustrated, angry, and guilty when real life enters into the mix? Oh, and it does, to be sure. There is our way, and then there is God's way. We may think we can plan for everything, but we don't have His vision, therefore we cannot. Period.

Are you spending hours planning for and micro-managing life, and if so, are you putting your plan into action? Do those around you see you as energetic and creative, or do you simply look tired?

It is time to drink in the complete fullness and beauty of the life, time, community, and world we have been given!

How are you going to spend your time today?