THE VALUE OF LEVERAGING OUR TIME
Time is a unique, irretrievable resource allocated in the same way by God to each one of us. We are forced to spend it, whether we like it or not, and at a fixed rate of 60 seconds every minute! It cannot be turned on and off like a machine. It cannot be accelerated or slowed down, like some sort of machine. Peter F. Drucker rightly noted that, “Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.” Benjamin Franklin underscored the importance of time with his statement, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”
The Bible teaches us that time is a resource and we are all responsible before God for its stewardship. It also instructs us to make the most of every opportunity (Eph. 5:15-17; Ecc. 2:17-23; Ecc. 3:1-8; Col. 4:5; Ex. 20:8-11). However, we have the responsibility to manage this essential God-given gift in a way that enhances the value of the time that we have.
WHAT WE DO WITH TIME
Christians and people raised in a Christian setting, tend to take their work more seriously than others."
The pressure which time places on us drives us to ‘go, go, go’ and ‘do, do, do.’ If this is not managed with sufficient pauses to stop and “sharpen the blade”, we will lose our focus. We could end up like the bus driver who told his passengers, “I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that we took a wrong turn and are on the wrong road. But don’t worry, we are making great progress.” It is as though the ‘going’ itself, the movement at a fast pace, is the end itself, regardless of where it takes us. Robert Banks, in his book, The Tyranny of Time: When 24 Hours Is Not Enough, states that, “Christians and people raised in a Christian setting, tend to take their work more seriously than others. The upshot of this commitment to work, and often to community and family as well, is that, ‘We are like trains—always on the move, always in a rush, and always late.’”
WHO, WHY, WHERE?
There is a real danger for us to fall into the trap where time-leveraging becomes all about performance and accomplishments, about doing and running. When this happens, we lose the capacity to simply enjoy God, people, and the life God has given us. As is the case in all of life, we need a biblical balance. Without this balance we can destroy our capacity to be the people God has called us to be. Moreover, by practicing a balanced view of time rooted in biblical principles, we are able to leverage our time better and focus on the right, strategic elements of life —who we are, where we are and why we are really here on this earth.
Being a good steward of time is, therefore, not really a matter of guarding every minute so that we can reach optimal effectiveness and productivity. Certainly we need to use our time wisely, but even more importantly, we need to have a broader grasp of time. The great events of God in history—the past, present and future as outlined in Scripture—all need to be understood from the perspective of the grand sweep of God’s plan.
WHEN LESS IS MORE
we need to stop “running in place,” move closer to the biblical goal, and satisfy the pertinent questions. "
The ultimate objective concerning the stewardship of time is not to get busier. What is needed instead is a better use of the time in the areas of life that matter, and to bring glory to God. Simply put, and spoken with the ‘big picture’ in mind, we need to stop “running in place,” move closer to the biblical goal, and satisfy the pertinent questions: Why are we really here and what is our ultimate mission? Hereby we will enhance the value of the time we do have. . Peter F. Drucker, The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management, Collins Business Essentials, 2001, Page 225.
. Managing Time, Harvard Business School Press, (Pocket Mentor Series) 2006, Page 4. . Robert Banks, The Tyranny of Time: When 24 Hours Is Not Enough, Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1997, Page 61.