We discussed, last week, the need to reflect on what we’re doing (and not doing) and the need prioritize those things appropriately. Time is indeed slipping away, and the hours that pass will never be ours again.
Three considerations we mentioned that can help us make the most use of our time were: What are we pursuing that we shouldn’t be, what are we holding on to that we need to let go and what are we pushing aside that we need to embrace?
Here are some practices to employ to guard your time and make the best use of it.
1. Consult with outsiders and insiders
An outsider’s perspective can be an invaluable asset in making sure we stay focused on those things which are most important. A mentor, counselor, or coach can help you decide what endeavors are worth pursuing now, which ones should be pursued later and which ones are complete wastes of time.
While insiders may have biased opinions and vested interests, they also tend to have a better vantage point from which to offer assistance in keeping us on track. The insider can help filter the advice from the outsider and help make final critiques regarding where improvement or adjustments might be necessary. If you’re married, make your spouse your number one draft pick for this position.
Finding the right voices to speak into your life takes time, but do yourself that favor, identify trusted voices and have them tell you where you’re wasting time and where your time might be better spent.
2. Prioritize God first and family second
If you’re not consistently leading yourself to bow before God, you can’t lead your family there either. Make room for God in your life and then tenaciously guard that time. The next most important time to guard is that precious time with family. Your kids are only little once, and you won’t be able to visit with your parents forever. Schedule a picnic, go out to dinner, or just shut down this web browser and take your family out for a 30-minute walk; the internet will still be here when you get back.
3. Pray continually
We touched on this briefly in the last point, but it’s worth repeating. Make time for God daily. Henry Blackaby once said when asked how much time he spends in his daily quiet-time, “I get alone with God, and I stay there… until I hear God speak.” When is the last time you sat patiently and waited on God to speak to you? We make the argument that we have so much to do, but Martin Luther was quoted saying, “”I have so much to do today that I’m going to need to spend three hours in prayer in order to be able to get it all done.”
God, the Author of time, would like to meet with you today. Do you think you can find a block of time for Him? My guess is, if you do, He can give you more time than you ever thought possible to take care of those little things (or little ones) who so desperately need you to care for them.
Check out Make Room: Capitalize on Car Rides for more thoughts on devoting time to family.