Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Digging Deep: You Have Time

My professor once shared a bit of truth with our class that has always stuck with me, "You have time for whatever you make time for."

She was doing some research on Facebook games, so she would play a few of the games on and off throughout the day with her husband and some other friends. Knowing she was a busy professor, people would always ask incredulously, "How do you have time for that?!" And she would always answer the same way. She made time because the research was important to her.


I've personally never been a gamer. Even as a child, I rarely wanted to sit down to play a board game and I only made it past the entry levels of Donkey Kong on our Super Nintendo. But last night, as a tired 32 year old mom, I decided to try out a poker app on Micah's phone. I lost a few hundred {fake} dollars and spent the next hour of my life earning it back. {This is how gambling addictions start, right?}. Don't worry. I eventually won about $2,000, turned off the phone with the nearly dead battery, and went to bed. I'm not proud of it, but yesterday I "made" time to play online poker. In exchange, I gave up an hour of sleep or an hour of reading time in bed. Two things I dearly love.

When we make time for certain activities or priorities, it often means we have to give up something else. We have a finite number of hours each day and an exhaustible amount of energy and focus. Yesterday, I also made time to go on a date with Micah. He got off work early, and my sister-in-law was here to babysit, so we were able to sneak off to the driving range before 5pm for an unexpected weeknight date. In exchange, I gave up my usual afternoon dissertation time during Zianne's nap, but in this instance, getting to invest in my marriage during a rare early evening outing made the exchange worth it.

We do this all the time in life. Sometimes meeting up with a friend takes precedence over showering and you willingly roll out of the house with three day unwashed hair for some relationship time. Sometimes taking a shower trumps all else, and you neglect the laundry and the email and spend 20 minutes in the shower while the baby naps. We are constantly making decisions about how to spend our time. Sometimes we choose between working out or cleaning our house. Sometimes we must choose between catching up on Instagram or sitting down to meal plan for the week. Sometimes there is clearly a good choice {going to sleep} and a poor choice {playing online poker on your husband's phone}. Sometimes both options are good, but you choose the one that makes the most sense at the time or the one that has more value in the long run {dissertation vs. date night}.

This same concept applies to reading your Bible. You might look at your typical day right now and think, "My day is full. I am busy and tired. Where does the Bible fit in?" You have to make a choice. Something in your schedule can be eliminated or demoted to prioritize the Word of God. Something can take second place so studying the Bible can become first place in your schedule. Do you watch any TV shows? That's great... unless you watch TV shows instead of reading God's Word. Do you clean your house? I do too. But every morning I know that the cleansing power of the Bible is more important than the state of my floors, and I ignore the lingering crumbs from last night's dinner and sit down with the Lord instead. Do you reach out to friends on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram? Social media is fun and helpful, but it should never replace our time in Scripture. If we are daily directed by God's Word before we hop online, we can better use our time and influence on social media for His glory.

The truth of the matter is we have time for whatever we make time for. If you truly believe that God's Word is more valuable than gold {Psalm 19:10; 119:72}and that Scripture is living and active and transforms hearts {Hebrews 4:12} then it seems worth it to rearrange your schedule a bit, doesn't it? The Word is better than any TV show. It's better than a funny tweet or a Facebook message. It's even better than folded laundry or working out. Of course your day is busy. Of course cleaning and exercising and cooking and socializing are all good things, but they are not the best thing, so make time for what matters most.

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