Recently Josh and I purchased a package of things from the Vision Forum – some books Josh thought would be good for family worship, some DVDs on childrearing topics, and a couple of CDs of talks from a past Vision Forum conference. I listened to the CD pictured, “Twenty-Four Hours Is All You Get” and was really challenged by the talk. The topic, as you might surmise, is how to make wise use of your time. The principles are universal, but the audience was made up of women so the talk is geared that way.
I was expecting the usual “don’t watch daytime television” type injunctions, but the talk goes FAR beyond the obvious in drawing out what God says in His Word about being good stewards of our time, and what He wants us to spend our time doing. The speaker, Susan Bradrick, challenges the audience to think about ways they spend time – things you have to do, things you should do, things you want to do, etc, and then to put those things into one of four categories: 1) Things that are essential to Godly, healthy (spiritual and physical) human existence (for example, prayer and time in the Word, eating and drinking sufficient food and water, getting adequate sleep, training your children in Godliness); 2) Things that are very important for God-pleasing existence (such as going to church, teaching your children the academic and practical skills necessary for God-honoring, responsible living, keeping a clean and orderly home, etc); 3) Things that are non-essential but can be edifying and God-honoring if time allows (like vacations, music lessons, field trips, political involvement, etc); and 4) Things that are fun and relaxing but are not necessary for God-honoring living if you don’t have time for them (such as hobbies, playing computer games, etc).
This was challenging to me as I realized that a lot of things that take up time in my day are, if I’m honest with myself and God, really priority 3 and 4 stuff. There isn’t anything wrong with them per se, but when they get in the way of my accomplishing priority 1 and 2 things, that’s a problem. I’ve been putting a lot of thought toward how to restructure my time in between caring for Hannah so that I can attend to things I identified as high priorities. As a result, this week I’ve felt a lot better about what I’ve accomplished, and I’ve still had time to do some priority 3 and 4 activities. In fact, I’ve enjoyed those things much more since I wasn’t feeling guilty about not having vacuumed or done my quiet time first.
Another thing that challenged me was the speaker’s emphasis on the importance of our homes being places of peace and order, and how everyday activities can be accomplished to glorify God. She used a lot of Scripture to back that up, and I plan to memorize some of the verses that really struck me.
I would recommend this talk to women especially, although I have a feeling that many of my readers already know most of the information contained therein! You can check it out here.