The Tyranny of Time
Three suggestions to counteract “never having enough time”
Remember the last time you faced a day with back-to-back meetings, and then someone cancelled? It was as if you were given a gift of an hour, a precious 60 minute oasis in the middle of the fast moving stream of life. Perhaps you paused to consider the things you could do with that gift. Go on a walk? Call that friend that you’d forgotten about? Read that article that’s been on your desk for a month? Take a nap? Regardless of how you spent it, for one moment you relished the possibilities afforded you by this precious offering.
The truth from a kingdom perspective is that the 24 hours of every day are just such precious gifts. Here’s another kingdom truth, we have enough of it. The enemy always wants to convince us that God is a miser, doling out an increasing volume of work to be crammed into the limited time he has granted us. The comment, “I just don’t have enough time” is an admission that we have bought the lie.
This distortion is the cause of one of the greatest afflictions of Christian leaders; we spend so much time working for God that we have no time left for God to work in us. In a scarcity of time, listening for and waiting on God gets sacrificed on the altar of human productivity.
So here’s the question: Would God call us into a position only to require of us an amount of work that forces us to sacrifice time with him in order to succeed in it? If not, perhaps the problem is not the lack of time but a deeper drive that convinces us that we have not achieved enough, earned enough, experienced enough…
Time, work, relationships, worship and rest are all gifts from God. In God’s economy, they are supplied in full and adequate portions. They never steal from each other. It’s only when we live as owners seeking to control that they appear to be at war.
If you never seem to have enough time for all you’re trying to get done, let me offer three brief suggestions.
- Surrender your time back to God; every hour, every minute, every second. Lay aside the temptation to play the owner and ask God how he would have you invest His gift of time for His kingdom. And then obey!
- Start each day with this prayer, “Lord, you have given me enough time to complete everything today that you’ve called me to do. Guide me every step of the way and help me invest your time today with anticipation and joy.”
- Ask God to give you the ability to value quiet time with Him more highly than any other time in your day. This is a spiritual battle that can only be won through the power of the Holy Spirit.
It’s time for Christian leaders to stop believing the lie, to cease being controlled by time, to no longer model the same anxiety and frenetic pace of the world around us. Time is a gift of God, given to us to steward according to His desires, to accomplish His work, done His way for His glory.
He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:11-13