You’ve heard it said: “Everyone gets twenty-four hours a day” and yet if you’re like me, sometimes you feel like the day flies by and you haven’t accomplished what you wanted to, or like the way you spent your time wasn’t satisfying.
When I started thinking about goals for my thirties, I thought about the ways I spend time and realized that I’m happiest when I’m devoting time to my major priorities. Spending my time on my priorities also helps me achieve my goals. Although I’m constantly tempted to compare myself unfavorably to other people, especially people I only “know” through blogs, it’s helpful for me to realize that we don’t all have to spend our time the same ways because we don’t all have the same callings, goals and priorities.
God calls us all uniquely. In 1 Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul described us as being like different parts of one body. Should the ear say it’s better than the foot? If we were all ears, how would we walk? I think it’s wonderful that God calls us differently so we can build each other up, encourage one another, and inspire each other. We don’t all have to do the same things or spend our time the same ways to honor God.
After I mentioned finishing the draft of my book, several people wrote to ask how I found the time. The simple answer is I stopped or cut back on things that weren’t getting me toward my goals. Believe me, there is no way I could do everything that YOU do, plus write a novel. If you want to pursue a calling, be it writing or photography or teaching or a church ministry or whatever, you’ll need to stop doing some things that aren’t getting you toward your goal. I don’t know what those things are, but you probably have an idea.
The way I spend my time probably looks different from the way you spend yours. I’m home with my children so when they are awake they are my focus, and when they have their nap/quiet time (mandatory at our house, even if they aren’t sleeping they play queitly in their rooms) I write or read. After they go to bed I spend time with my husband and/or write or read. I synthesize information and think best through reading, so I read about marriage and parenting (two of my callings), writing, education (since for the short term I feel called to teach my children at home), other things I need to learn about and fiction. I read fiction to understand the world and how people think, and because I want to learn how to write better fiction. I don’t read a lot of business books because I don’t have a business nor am I really interested in that. If I were, I would read business books and not novels. One is not better than the other. Two different callings: two different ways to spend time.
I love that people have different callings. One of my friends is passionate about adoption, and hearing her talk or reading her writing about that subject has opened my eyes and given me greater understanding and impetus to pray. I have friends who are foodies and inspire me to cook better, though I’ll probably never be as into food as they are. My husband is in politics and I enjoy his enthusiasm for the subject though I’m not called that way myself.
We can broaden our perspectives and find inspiration to be better by interacting with other people who are passionate about different things, but when it comes down to it, your callings are unique. You have 24 hours just like the rest of us and you can carve them out bit by bit to achieve great things. I think that’s pretty exciting.
How do you make time for your callings?