General Self-Management

What Time is It?

Sleeping in is a delight for me! Most weekdays I’m up between 430 and 530am. I’ve always been a fairly consistent guy. My sense of time; what needs to be done first, how long it takes to do something,  is usually spot on. Maybe that’s in part why I went into architecture. The planner in me needs structure. When I get to sleep in, my body catches up on rest, but as soon as I see the time, I start stressing over the things that “have to get done”. Learning to chill has been an uphill battle for me but in all honesty, as I focus on my life in Christ, it seems He gives me the assurance that taking time to rest is part of how I grow in my manhood.

Rest is Not Being Lazy

There’s a big difference between resting and being lazy. Being lazy is a cousin to time-wasting. Resting comes from having an identity anchored in Christ. He is my rest. I am loved by Him and nothing I do can separate me from His love. When I am unsettled in who I am, I waste time. 

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil.  Ephesians 5vs15-16 ESV

When God tells us to use our time wisely, it’s not a push to fill every minute of our days with busyness. You will die internally, lose purpose and wear yourself out if you never learn to sit and chill. Balance is important. 

Idleness Leads to Evil

Friends of our retold a camping story where they parked their camper along a river in Wyoming for the night, on their journey to Glacier National Park. In the middle of the night, they heard a car of young warrior-aged men pull up close to their camper. Loud music. Very antagonistic. Most likely drunk. It obviously startled our friends. That incident didn’t just happen. That car-load of young men didn’t just decide to plan a drunken road trip. It stemmed from lives lacking purpose. Lives drifting. Unwise use of time. Somewhere along the way, perhaps as early as their childhood or adolescence they grew up believing that their lives didn’t matter.

When you think your life doesn’t matter, you waste time. Maybe it’s a YouTube video a friend shared with you. Next thing you know you’ve watched a dozen more, lost track of time and totally forgot to pick up your roommate at the airport! It happens to the best of us! Or, perhaps you spend everyday direction-less. What am I doing? Even your motivation to pull yourself out of bed is like an internal battle for your soul. 

Studies show young men are waiting longer to grow up. They wander through different levels of education, jobs, and relationships attempting to find themselves. I’m sure psychologists have analyze such trends to the nth degree. What I do know is there is a direct correlation between your use of time and the wisdom you live by. 

Street Wisdom or God’s?

Street wisdom is gathered along the way with little regard for God. Human advice that might offer a tip for the day or promotes a self-serving lifestyle, but in the end never truly addresses the deeper, core values that your soul is desperately searching for.  A lot of street wisdom comes with attitude. Arrogance and pride embedded in the soul. An unwillingness to humble yourself because fear drives you more than unconditional love.

God’s wisdom is always truthful, even if you don’t like what He has to say. In fact, God’s wisdom is always for your good. 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8vs28 ESV

Loving God

For those who love God. That’s the caveat in how you use your time. Time is God’s gift to you. There is no guarantee you will have tomorrow, so living in a way that uses today in a God-glorifying way is living with wisdom. Time builds upon itself. One moment may seem ordinary, the next catastrophic! One day you are thinking of only yourself. Do that enough and you reinforce evil’s desire to have you. 

Changing The Way You Think About Time

I mentioned earlier that I am a planner. I need structure. Not a bad thing, but in my warrior years, I operated more out of fear than faith. A fear I wasn’t doing enough. I’ve always had a knack for multi-tasking.; which isn’t wrong, but over-doing it eats at a man’s soul. About 4 years ago, I had unexpected quadruple heart bypass surgery. Talk about rocking your world! I found myself on a search for the new normal. A pace of life that allows wise use of my time, talents and treasures, but in a way that doesn’t adversely affect my health. I’m still working as an architect, but find my stamina dramatically different. My cardiologist’s orders that I maintain a minimum of 150 minutes of cardio a week have also changed how I spend my time.

What I’ve also noticed in the past four years, is an uptick in appreciating the time God gives me. The value of relationships, the pursuit of a deeper walk with God through His Word, the immense value of godly accountability. I can truthfully say that how I think about time has increasingly aligned with how God values time.

Time Quiz

Evaluate your use of time.

A. If I am late for something, it’s usually because

  1. I packed too much into my day
  2. I forgot to pre-plan.
  3. Something unexpected required my time.

B. I usually track my time 

  1. On my phone
  2. A paper daytimer
  3. In my head

C. Knowing daily situations vary, prioritize the following

  1. Washing laundry
  2. Connecting with a friend
  3. Getting your work done
  4. Spending time with Jesus

D. Which has longer-term value for you?

  1. Catching the latest songs on Spotify
  2. Figuring out your career path
  3. Falling in love for marriage
  4. Becoming a godly man in Christ

What Time Is it?

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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