We’re quickly approaching the end of another year, and many of us have already been thinking about our lives and our plans for the future.
The past year has been filled with many blessings and challenges. I’ve made choices. I’ve decided how to use my time. I, sometimes, feel like there’s not enough of me to go around. I struggle to find a healthy balance between my commitments at work and my need to spend time with my family. I often struggle to find the time that I need to carve-out of my schedule to meet the needs of my aging father. I’ve attended a few seminars about time management, and I’ve tried several different daily planners to become more organized. But, this year, I struggled with a very challenging truth that reminds me that, no matter how many ways I try to slice my pie, there’s still only one pie.
Time-management gurus call it: “The Rule of 168.”
I’d like to invite you, as we prepare to enter into a new year, to think about these words: “There’s an appointed time for everything and there’s an appointed time for every event under Heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
I sometimes struggle because, quite honestly, I’m often trying to live-into an ideal future that exists, perhaps, only in my own mind. I’ve learned how to squeeze more “gusto” into life by trying to eliminate other obligations—and my life of faith has sometimes suffered because of it. I’ve purchased things on credit, so that I could enjoy what I can’t afford to buy right now—and I’ve been known to sweat bullets, on several different occasions, as a result of a bad decision. I sometimes feel angry—even resentful—because “what I need to do” isn’t always “what I want to do.” But that’s life, isn’t it?
In the last year, I’ve learned to spend more of my time “living in the moment.” I’ve been challenged, again, to see that my life is a spiritual journey that often calls me to stop and enjoy the present—because it’s God’s gift. I’ve been learning that I will fulfill many different “roles” in life, and that God’s presence and blessings will be in each of them.
I’ve, also, learned that some of my deepest struggles emerge when I’m frantically trying to live my days outside of the “appointed time.” I’ve learned that some of my deepest angst is self-created because I spend so much of my mental energy trying to create an idealize future—what I think my life “should” be like—instead of simply “basking in the moment” that God has provided for me to experience today.
And so, I’m going to draw a line in the sand as I begin another year this week. And I’m going to personally commit myself to more consciously living-into the “roles” that God has called me to fulfill, and into the “appointed time” that God has given to me as a gift. Will you join me?
Now, it’s your turn to join the conversation….
What “roles” are you fulfilling at this “appointed time” in your life? Which of those “roles” do you think is most challenging? Which of your “roles” are most fulfilling? Why?
Have you ever experienced feelings of anger and resentment because you felt trapped in an “appointed time” or in a “role” that you never imagined you’d be required to fulfill? How can you continue to meet the challenges of that “calling” in a faith-filled way?
How can gaining a deeper insights into your “roles” and your “appointed time” help you to decide what’s most important, and help you to feel better about the choices and the decisions you are making (or are being required to make)?
What insights about your “roles” and “appointed time” can you share with us; so that, we can learn and grow through the insights and wisdom that you have to share with us?