I am a shield-maiden of schedules. I am a guru of goal setting. I am a lover of lists.
However, I am also the Princess of Procrastination and, at times, the Lady of Laziness.
When you are as busy as I am (or busier), as I’m sure many of you are, it is important that we stay on top of everything. When we lapse into laziness, procrastination, or selfishness, we find ourselves on the brink of chaos and are so overwhelmed we can’t even tell where to start. We look at our to-do lists, and then crawl back into our shells, wishing it all away. How will we get it all done? Where do we start? God, can we have just 10 more hours in a day?
People talk about time management, but that is a misnomer. We are not managers of time. Time is consistent, always the same. There are 24 hours in a day–and that never changes. What does need to change are our hearts. Priorities, goals and attitudes will dictate what we spend our time on.
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” -Jim Rohn
I’m embarking on a 4-part series on “time management” in an effort to inspire and motivate both myself and all the other women out there struggling with the same issues. This month, I’m addressing the heart. In October, we’ll discuss priorities; in November, goals and motivations; and in December, schedules, routines, or time management.
ADDRESSING THE HEART
The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? (Jer. 17:9 NKJV)
I, for one, hate housework. I don’t really know why. I mean, I understand hating to clean up icky messes, but the rest of it seems harmless. Why do I loathe doing laundry? Why do I avoid dusting? Regardless of how I feel, though, the housework has to get done. We all have “housework” in our lives that we avoid whenever we can. Maybe it’s something we’ve committed to doing outside the home, maybe it’s our job, maybe it’s taking our kids to soccer practice.
The Bible tells us that whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. (Col. 3:23) While housework may not be my favorite activity, it is still important and it still needs to be done to the best of my ability.
We also know that we are all part of the same body. We all have our jobs to do–and they are all important. No part is too big or too small. Sometimes we think we need to be doing something more important, but God places us where we are to be doing what He needs us to do.
Changing our hearts, our attitudes, is hard work. In fact, you might say that it is impossible. It is–for us. But with God, anything is possible.
God gave us the most powerful tool He could. Prayer. In everything, we should be in close relationship with God. We should be filled with His Spirit.
When we go to God in prayer, we are opening a two-way conversation. Prayer is not “God, please do this and this,” at least not always. We’ve all heard that God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we should do twice as much listening as we do talking. No place is this more truer than in prayer. How much do we miss because we are too busy getting our issues out of our mouths? God already knows!
He knows we want to change. He knows our hearts. He will give us the strength, perseverance, and wisdom to make the changes. He will provide the right circumstance to help and to test us. He wants to help us succeed when our hearts align with His.
While prayer is the most important venue for change, the Bible falls in a close second. God has already given us a wealth of wisdom and reference in His Word. We can find so much encouragement and instruction through studying the Bible. Spending time in His Word on a regular basis keeps our armor strong and our cups filled.
If you don’t already have time in your day that you set aside to read the Bible, make it a priority. Our relationship with God should be number one, above everything else. We’ll talk about this more next month, but I will say right now that if we are not right in our relationship with God, we are already doomed to fail.
Anytime we set about to make changes, I believe we should find someone to come alongside us in prayer and encouragement. While God is all we need, it is nice to have that person(s) who is championing for us or maybe even going through these changes with us. It is hard to go at it alone. But God gave us a family of believers for a reason–He knew we would need the strength and encouragement that comes from being with like-minded people. Find that person for you and let them in on your goals.
Now we’ve addressed the heart. We realize that the heart is deceitful and will try to tell us all kinds of lies. We also know that what we fill our day with is important, and whatever we do we should be doing for the Lord. Through prayer, Bible study, and encouragement from others, we can change our attitudes toward our current circumstances and the “stuff” that fills our days.
Next time, we’ll address Godly priorities.