By the Rev Dr. Ed Hird
Many of us in the 21st Century have become too busy for our families, too busy for our spouses, too busy to rest, too busy to play, too busy to pray, too busy to read this. Bishop John McNaughton comments that we live in a society where busyness is seen as a virtue and the quality use of time is understood only by a few.
I was somewhat lazy in Senior High School, but by the time I was working on my Masters Degree, I was in full gear academically. I was working 14 to 16 hours a day on major papers and loving it. The only trouble was that I was too busy for my family and never noticed. Only years later did I fully realize how I had robbed my family of vital time that we needed to spend together. Fortunately for me, my family is very forgiving and since then I have learned basic time management principles from the bible that have taught me to be a better husband.
Learning to say “no” as Jesus did is vital to my developing a less cluttered time schedule. So often we can feel put upon with details, frantic with schedules, and wearied by demands. The problem is that we’ve said “yes” to too many time commitments that God never asked us to take on. Listening to God first and obeying Him really helps me to just say “no”.
Procrastination is one of the deadliest diseases which we fight each day whether in our work, family, or spiritual life. Procrastination is such a serious problem that we even procrastinate in facing our procrastination. The bible helps me overcome procrastination by reminding me that time is short (1 Corinthians 7:29). When I realize that time is short and that Jesus could return at any moment, it spurs me to make the best use of the remaining time I do have.
I saw a bumper sticker at Sherwood Park Elementary School that said “The best thing to spend on your children is time!” A key way to restore your family relationship is to begin to trace back the family and marriage time that T.V. has stolen from your family. Research shows that while fathers think they spend 15 minutes a day with each child, they actually only spend 37 seconds a day per child. In contrast, families watch 7 hours of T.V. per day. My prayer for those reading this article is that time for spouse, family, and God will become prioritized in our busy lives.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-author of the award-winning book Battle for the Soul of Canada
-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier
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