Is There Really Such a Thing as Time Management?
With the end of another annual Daylight Savings Time (DST) coming this weekend, I’ve been thinking about the fleeting nature of time.
I frequently talk about my need for better time management skills. Can you relate? But considering the nature of time, can we really manage something as ephemeral as a passing minute—here and gone in sixty seconds?
Seconds, minutes, hours. Days, weeks, months, years. Manmade measures reminding us of our mortality as the clock continues to tick away. Even within these constructed measures, have you noticed how capricious minutes can seem? If every hour is composed of sixty minutes, why do some hours drag on interminably while others fly by? Why can most of us attest to the truth that “the days are long but the years are short”?
Thanksgiving is in three weeks, but it seems as though summertime was yesterday and Christmas will be here tomorrow.
As if that all isn’t enough to make my head explode, consider God’s timing. There’s an adage that says, “God is always on time, but He misses opportunities to be early.” Yet that’s what we want, don’t we? We want His intervention early. We want His blessings early. However, He has His own timetable.
I say I trust God, but I can gauge my own spiritual growth by how much I trust His timing. The sad truth is that I often chafe at God’s timing. Is He moving too fast? Too slow? Then there are times I wonder if He is moving at all. And I won’t even begin to discuss the contentious relationship I have with the word wait!
Yet the One who created the very sun we use to measure time is also the One who is sovereign, patiently working out His purposes for His greatest glory. A prime example is the account of the healing of the crippled man in Acts 3:1-10. This man was carried to the temple gate every day to beg. Instead of giving him money, the apostle Peter gave him healing in the name of Jesus Christ (v. 6).
A great account of healing. But think about this from the beggar’s perspective. How many years had he sat at that gate? During His earthly ministry, how many times had Jesus walked by with His disciples without making him whole? In God’s perfect timing, the healing occurred after Jesus’s resurrection. And as a result of this man’s healing at this particular time, Peter preached a powerful gospel message to the crowd and 5,000 men believed (Acts 4:4).
The “right” time for healing was not what this man might have thought. God knew the best time for healing, for the good of not just one man, but for the good of 5,000 men, not to mention the ripple effect on their families and communities!
Which brings me back to the question of God’s timing in my own life 2,000 years later. Am I willing to trust God’s timing or am I using time management as a way to attempt to manage God? Of course, we all know how successful that would be!
So as we focus on clocks and time and attempts at time management, I choose to view the end of Daylight Savings Time as a gracious reminder from my heavenly Father. A reminder to be a good steward of the time I do have by using it wisely. And a reminder that He is sovereignly “managing” every minute for my ultimate good and His eternal glory!
My favorite method of time management is in Joshua 10:
12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
I am thankful for God’s timing. There have been times when I wanted something and later found out, that wasn’t what God had planned. His timing is always best.
Sometimes the best way to “tame” the press of time is to heed the words of Psalm 46:10 and “be still.” Knowing God is God, sovereign, in control, is the only way to truly center myself in what is important.
This is the best piece on time that I’ve ever read, Ava! God is never too early. He often acts when we feel it is too late, yet he is in pursuit of not just our request for one, but for the needs of the 5,000. He sees bigger and wider than we see, for he sees “the ripple effect on families and communities!” We’ve recently seen him answer prayers that we left entirely in his hands, for we didn’t even know how to pray, and yet we knew that the Lord knew and knows. His timing is inscrutable. His answers are always done in love.
Guilty! I say I trust God’s timing but whine when He makes me wait longer than I think is reasonable.
It is amazing too, how time seems to fly faster the more I age too.
Great post Ava
Sometimes it’s hard to find the balance between doing all we need to do and getting good rest, including appropriate down time. Time management is perhaps the Golden Mean. We must steward, time, energy, and other resources. Wonderful insights here!
Ava, this is a powerful reminder, “Am I willing to trust God’s timing or am I using time management as a way to attempt to manage God?” And thank you for a new way to view the time change.