Bible verses about time management: how to schedule your time

Our earthly stopover is significantly shorter than we are inclined to think. Hence, time management is vital because we are so busy. Psalm 39:4–5 points out, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath”

I specifically want to address today what the bible says about time management to help you get your life back on track.

Moses prays, Psalm 90:12. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Maybe that should be our prayer as well. 

Ecclesiastes 3:11 shows that our Creator has set eternity in our heart, and we will one day give an account to the God who gifts us with precious time on earth.

Let’s turn to the new testament, where the apostle James writes, “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” James 4:14. Indeed, our time on earth is transitory—in fact, it is tiny compared to eternity.

To live as God would have us live, we must make the best possible use of our allotted time, and that is why we should manage our time wisely.

The Importance of Scheduling your Time.

I hear time and time again from people that they have never been so busy since they retired. We can be fooled into thinking that you have a lot more time because now that you are retired, you are less likely to stick to a routine or schedule. If you don’t value your time, others will intrude upon your time, routine, or plans.

Last year a friend in her retirement bought a dog for the first time. Although she looked forward to being a dog owner for many years, now retired, she has the time and energy to devote to a pet. For the first few months, she was able to enjoy the little pup, pamper it and take it for daily walks- she loved it! Because she was now retired, family and friends wanted her to do things for them, and she helped out when she was asked. Her days became filled to the brim, and she hardly was ever home. She found those precious moments of pleasure with her dog became less and less, and the poor little thing now has become a burden. Why? Because she has allowed others to reschedule her schedule. She has allowed other people to intrude on her precious time and manage her diary for her.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If someone in your life keeps wanting you to do stuff for them and if you say ‘no’, they impose a guilt trip on you, so you end up doing it anyway. Maybe you feel you need to say ‘yes to family or friends even when you don’t want to just keep happy, because of the fear that you might lose them. My friend did have all the time in the world; however, now she does not. Others have taken a little piece of her time, at a piece at a time, and then one day, she had no time to spend how she would like. 

Time is Precious.

Time is precious; your time is precious. During the numerous COVID-19 lockdowns, we seemed to have all the time in the world. We no longer needed to travel to work and were less likely to visit with family and friends. 

However, things like social media, zoom, skype, facetime, messenger video, WhatsApp, telephone, not to mention the telly, distract us from getting on with what we should. So, unwittingly, we allow these applications to schedule our diary and rearrange our plans. I battle with getting distracted, so I ensure that I stick to my diary the best possible. 

 For the retired who are reading this, find the creative you. Say ‘no’ to unwanted demands on your time and stick to it. Turn off that TV and try learning a new craft; there is a lot available to enjoy.

 Get outside, enjoy your garden, neighbourhood or pets, and breathe in the fresh air. Exercise your brain by learning a new language or doing puzzles. Get to know your computer a little bit better – we never use it to its total capacity. 

Write your memoirs as a legacy to your family. Then, whatever you choose to do, allow your time to be your time and keep it under your control, and not someone else’s. Liberate yourself, don’t submit yourself to the whims, fancies or demands of anyone else.

I come across far too many retired people who are so exhausted. They no longer enjoy their lives because they are always running around fulfilling duties to keep others happy. If your family or friends will only contact you because of what you can do for them, I would question the quality of that relationship. 

I am sure you are not a person who uses their loved ones for their own ends, and it is difficult to understand why they do that. But they often do; their attitude is – if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. However, this is not the way a relationship should be. I hear people say how drained and used up they feel after running around after other people’s demands in my counselling profession.

So, what can be done? Here are 5 tips to get you started.

1. Ask God to help you formulate a weekly schedule.

2. Keep a strict diary.

3. Stick to as far as reasonable to the plan.

4. First thing in the morning, look over your schedule.

5. The last thing at night, review your day and ask yourself what the best part of your day was?

Be careful not to book yourself up to the hilt; leave a little time so you can be flexible for unexpected events. 

Whatever the challenges you may have, feel the feelings, work through them, and give them over to God, giving thanks in every situation. Leaving every result to God. Then you will be able to sleep peacefully without worry.

Use Your Diary

Don’t cancel that nice river walk with your puppy like my friends did to fit someone’s timeslot unless it is urgent and cannot be avoided. When someone wants you to do something for them, develop the habit to check your diary first. If what is asked of you is inconvenient, then offer other times and dates. This shows them that you value yourself and your time. Do not just have a quick knee-jerk reaction and wipe your schedule to fit in with someone else’s. I have done this for too many years, and I know it causes stress and burnout, and I do not want that for you.

Be strong and consistent, and you will find that your time will not be slipping through your fingers. 

What method do you use to manage your time? Let me know, and I would love to hear from you in our comments section below. 

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The Power of an Empty Tomb: God of surprises.

Although we are in the fall, I thought I would share an Easter story. With all the leaves falling and the days are drawing in, we need a bit of good cheer!

The God of the Bible is always active, always making new, consistently doing a new thing. It is one of the ways God is different from idols, those things we make who do not move, speak, or do anything at all. By contrast, the God whose story is told in the Bible is continuously creating and recreating. It is why God is surprising, the God of surprises.

Of course, not everyone likes surprises. However, a quiet, dependable sure and steady life is what many desire, particularly after the drama of COVID 19. In enjoying quiet, dependable sure and steady life, we feel secure; at least we know where we are. Anyway, even those who profess to like surprises must acknowledge that not all surprises in life are pleasant and welcome, and some surprises come as a shock!

So, recalling that part of John’s Gospel 20.1-18 (please read), we might imagine how it was for Mary Magdalene. She was deeply in love with Jesus. He was the one who had given her back her life, love, and dignity. Yet, she comes on the Sunday after Sabbath to his tomb in the grief that goes with profound bereavement. The one she loved is dead and buried. That is a hard enough reality to bear. But how will she live without him?

(Dear friend, if you are struggling with grief, please check out my book ‘Nothing Good About Grief’ available at Amazon).

Getting back to Mary, who finds her way to the tomb. She expects to find everything as she left it days ago; after all, there are no surprises in death. It is all so predictable and final, except that she finds the tombstone is rolled away. This must have been for her an upsetting experience, a cruel and wounding surprise. She may have been wondering- ‘Can Jesus not be left in peace after all that has been done to him?’ She feels a knife being turned in her wounded heart.

She goes to find Peter. Her first word of witness on Easter Day is of sorrow and anger, and she cries, “They have moved his body! They have taken away the Lord! “It’s scandalous. She speaks in sorrow and burning anger. Her message is bad news indeed.

On hearing this news, Peter and John race to the tomb, with thoughts confused, they may question- “Can this indignity be true? ” When they reach the tomb, they find that Mary’s testimony, unfortunately, is the truth. The grave is empty. Strangely the grave clothes are in their place. Are they not needed anymore? Someone must have moved the body. It is the obvious but bitter explanation.

The Gospel writer says that John is outrun by Peter, nevertheless, goes into the tomb first. Then, says the evangelist, he saw and believed. Believed what? We are not told. However, the evangelist does tell us that they did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead. This possibility is not available to them, and all they have is an empty tomb, and there may be many reasons for that; grave robbers, a meddling gardener, who knows? So, they go home.

 So far this story, is not much of a good news story- where are the angels and the great hallelujahs? It’s what we latter-day readers expect, but to this point, the text is bleak like it was for Mary and for many in the face of death. What a disappointment this story of Jesus has turned out to be! We are left with emptiness in several senses. But, like the disciples, we are left with a puzzle. 

 So, Mary is weeping and looks deeper into the tomb. John says she saw two angels in white. They ask her why she is weeping. She tells them, “they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him. ” That is reason enough for tears. She turns away to hide her grief, but she is aware of another standing near in this morning of surprises. It must be the gardener. He asks, “why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

 Perhaps this man has the answer to her cruel puzzle. She replies, “Tell me where you have laid him.” And the man says, “Mary.” this is when she realises that it is the Lord! The calling of her name is the start of Mary’s resurrection because Jesus is not dead and gone. The tomb is empty, and Jesus has come to her in his risen love and grace. Now she has a different testimony. I have seen the Lord in her experience and announcement to the disciples.

This is how John tells the Easter Day story. No one expected this, despite what the ancient scriptures said of God. Easter is a surprise. It is the good news we proclaim today. Both the approaches in John’s witness are essential. Does the empty tomb story matter? Yes, because we are not talking about something in a private otherworldly sphere of inwardness.

 The empty tomb matters because it speaks of the new creation, of that work God is doing with the matter he first created, how he is doing a new thing. Christians proclaim that the tomb is empty, and the new resurrection body is recreated by God. Death is not the end, not even for this vulnerable creation that waits for renewal.

Although scientists today speak of many dimensions, life on other planets and parallel universes. We can hardly imagine what this means, and the Gospel proclaims that here is the work of God, taking our failure, taking the love of Jesus, and from it, bringing forth something new and wonderful. It is a miracle, a work of God. 

Some of our teachers speak of a miracle as an overflowing love at the heart of creation. The love that was in Jesus, even unto death, is met by the endless love of God for his creation and, in the dynamic, new, and beautiful things happen. Death is not the end.

As we have seen, however, the empty tomb is not necessarily good news. It needs setting in a context. That context is God’s work from the beginning, in the creation and the call of Israel, in the coming of Christ and his remarkable life of suffering love, breaking the cycle of sin and violence in his sacrificial death on the cross. It is over this Christ that God speaks the great “Yes” of resurrection. He is let loose again in the world, and Mary and countless others will speak of being restored, healed, renewed by his presence.

God raised Jesus from the dead. For Mary, this means her grief is turned to joy as he calls her name. For Thomas, it means his doubt is turned to faith as he meets the risen Lord in the company of the disciples. For Peter, who denied the Lord, resurrection means being welcomed again by Christ and entrusted with new and vital work. John wants us to understand that resurrection is not just something that happened to Jesus. It is God’s work for us.

It means that each act of worship, each gathering at the Lord’s Table, is an encounter with Christ Jesus. It means that far from life being full of boring predictability, there are the surprises of God who raised Jesus from the dead and is ever seeking to make all things new. It means that our death, even the decay of our planet, is not the end, and the tomb of Jesus is empty because God is at work. So, Christ comes to us with grace, forgiveness, love and laughter. The Lord has risen! He is risen indeed!

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful.

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Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog postxx

 Paula Rose Parish💕

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