Priorities. It’s all about priorities. Resources like time and money are limited, so in order to be most effective, we have to squeeze the most out of what we’re given.
Time is the worst – we all have the same 24 hours a day, and it’s so easy to get distracted, at least for me! I wander off on attractive bunny trails – of “good” things – and then an hour later realize I still haven’t done what I was supposed to do.
But bunny trails are so fun, especially in summertime when the livin’ is easy. I went out to water my garden a couple of days ago. I gave myself 15 minutes . . . and went back inside an hour and a half later.
I’m especially bad at saying “no”. I think that I have to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes along, but then for some reason I find myself overwhelmed and grumpy. It’s so much better to say no at the outset than to disappoint others later when you can’t fulfill your obligation. The author Randy Alcorn wrote a blog post about this concept, which he calls “planned neglect.” He says we have to make sure we’re living to please God, not everyone else. We have to learn to say no to many good things in order to be available to say yes to God concerning that small number of things He has truly called us to. He further says we should NEVER say yes without asking God whether this is one of those exceptional things He wants us to do. Assume that God doesn’t want you to do that new thing and that he will smack you up side of the head if He does.
Alcorn concludes, “If I’m booked so tight there’s no room in my schedule for unanticipated God moments, I’ll miss them, and thereby miss some of life’s greatest joys and opportunities and occasions for gratitude. If you don’t give yourself room to breathe, you won’t give God room to move.”
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. – Ephesians 5:15-17 (NLT)