Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Top Unavoidable Time Consumers-and What to Do About Them (Part 1)

"Look, I want to spend time with God, I really do, but I just don't have time!" This seems to be the cry of many Christians. The bookstores are filled with "Devotions in 3 minutes!" types, for in a hurry and on-the-go Christians. But as A.W. Tozer said, "It is well that we accept the hard truth now: the man who would know God must give time to Him." But we are stuck with a chapter of the Bible crammed into the corners and prayer is something that we wish we had time for. Even if we are setting aside a focused time, we still find ourselves rushing throughout the day. Some of this is our own laziness and unnecessary activities (we'll get to that later) but what about the things that we can't cut out of out schedule? Those are what we have to keep the tightest control over if our relationship with God is to flourish.

In the old times, school was not nearly as rigorous as it is today, and a higher education (high school, not college) was anything but mandatory-but that is not the view of today. It's so easy to say that the Bible was written in times when people didn't have to do school and that its principals don't work here. But God knows our time and our situation-and the Bible's ethics do work. It's just that ours don't. School is not something you can skip out on anymore, but we have to find a way to work around it so we can give our lives to God. Here are some practical ways to glorify God in this area of your life:

1. Clear Out Your Schedule
Now, as a homeschooler, life rarely caters to my schedule exactly. But school needs to actually have a certain time for it. Forty-five minutes of Wii Fit or a long jog may not be wrong in your schedule, but doing so at one in the afternoon and pushing your school back until six isn't a solution either. School needs to be able to work without distraction and with planning. When your day is planned out, it runs much more efficiently.

2. Set Boundaries
School doesn't have to go from nine to three, but it needs to have a set time. Staying up until midnight does not help your case. When your boundaries are not set, school can push essentials like family time and especially God out of the way in your pursuit. Even though school is important, it's not the most important thing in life. And with a clean schedule, it's as simple as stopping chemistry at three rather than ten.

3. Prioritize
If you find that your school is not fitting inside your boundaries, then you need to prioritize what school you are doing. A required math course, the Latin class your mom says you have to take, and science may all be stuck in your life. But do you really need that extra history class? Do you actually need to get two math books done this year? Do you really need to get ahead? It's not just the dropping of subjects though, but overdoing them as well. Yes, studying for the SAT is a worthy pursuit, but adding three hours to your daily schedule-even to your weekly schedule may not be the right thing to do. Do you have the lesson? Then do you need to do every optional problem? As homeschoolers (overachievers) the temptation is huge. Even if it means doing school during the summer, the eternal benefits are endless.

There isn't really a "how to" on exactly working with any area of your life, so prayerfully consider any additional changes that God may be pressing on you in the area of your education. The point is not to get more free time, but open your life up so that God may work in you even more.

1 comment: