Thursday, April 2, 2009

Standing Up to Distractions (Number 28 in a series)

Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. Psalm 17: 4-6 (KJV)

I have learned from hard experience how easy it is to be distracted by seemingly innocent behaviors. Suddenly time has passed; things I should have done are not done, while I’ve been doing something that bore no fruit. Have you ever had that happen to you? If so, you know what I mean.

There are days when it takes a concentrated effort on my part to stay on task. Some days it is easy to do. In both cases, at the end of the day I feel a deep contentment that I lack on those days when I don’t stay focused. Rather than disappointment over what I haven’t done, I have joy in what I accomplished. I like those days a lot better than the others.

There is a great deal of discussion and teaching on the subject of Christian money management. I am out of work and pretty much have no money to manage so that’s sort of a moot point for me just now. What I do have is TIME. How I manage that time is as critical to my spiritual life as any financial management skills. Am I using my time to His glory or am I ‘slipping from the path’ and frittering it away?

Computer games, hundred of TV channels, novels – these are all tools. How I use them is my choice. Am I spending a few minutes in relaxation or losing hours in unproductive pursuits? Does the pastime enrich me or leave me feeling guilty? God has given us a precious capacity for play and recreation, but we have a human tendency to lose perspective and balance.

Where are you spending your time? Are you cultivating for the Kingdom with your activities? Do you feel satisfied and fulfilled at the end of the day, or irritated and frustrated with what you’ve done?

Father, thank You for the gift of time. Help me to use it wisely and to Your glory. Keep me on the path to You. Please help me to choose rightly when faced with a choice of activities.

© 2009 Mary Beth Magee