I’m reading an e-book by Michael Hyatt called Shave 10 Hours Off Your Workweek. It’s good. It’s short. It’s practical. It’s everything that’s wonderful about an e-book. You should totally check it out. And if you haven’t heard of Michael Hyatt and you’re interested in business-y, leadership-y stuff with a soul, crawl out from under your rock and get with the program. He’s the best in the biz.
One of the quotes in the book really popped off the screen to me today as Hyatt quotes a Roman philosopher named Seneca:
“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.”
Backtrack to last night. I was hosting a Parent’s Roundtable with my fellow student pastor Chris Nelson at our church. While there, we got on the subject of busyness within the American family. We talked about how our frantic over-scheduling is really putting the squeeze on a lot of families. It keeps them from talking. It prevents them from relating. It causes tension. Some families wear their busyness like a badge of honor, but I’m afraid it often serves more the purpose of a dunce cap. What are we doing, running around like chickens with our heads cut off? Probably not making the best use of our time — not in terms of what matters most.
Let’s stop wasting time being busy. Instead, let’s baptize our schedule.
For others of us, busyness isn’t the issue. There are whole groups of people who aren’t overly busy, but what they are busy doing is the wrong stuff. They are working hard on things that don’t really matter. There is a stewardship of life question we must all ask — are we doing what God has put us on this earth and uniquely equipped us to do?
A lot of older folks scoff at the Millennial generation — a group of people that don’t necessarily buy into the American Dream, desire to work for a corporate giant, or even care about making that much money. It can sometimes be interpreted as laziness. But I’ve worked with that generation my entire career (being on the front end of it myself) and I can attest to the fact that they are more concerned with how important what they are doing is than how much money they can earn doing it.
I know, I know that’s great until the bills come due.
But I wonder sometimes if older folks get all up tight about that kind of decision making not because they think it’s foolish, but because they are jealous they didn’t have the guts to embrace it themselves.
Let’s stop wasting time doing unimportant stuff. Instead, let’s baptize our schedule.
If you’re unfamiliar with the basic theology of baptism, it goes like this: old becomes new, dead becomes alive, stained becomes pure. In Christian thought, baptism is a symbol of something miraculous — that God would take a sinful, damaged, hopeless person and redeem them through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Christians talk about redemption in many areas of life, but I don’t ever hear anyone talking about God redeeming their schedules.
Does your old way of thinking need to be made new? Does the way your try to jam-pack your day leave you feeling dead? Is your calendar blotted with unimportant activities that won’t ever accomplish much besides wearing you out?
Who says it can’t be different?
Who says you can’t make time for what God’s wired you to do?
Who says things can’t change? You make your schedule. You decide.
Mr. Hyatt calls it shaving ten hours off your work week. I call it baptizing your schedule. Either way, let’s take the time to make the time to make a difference.
How do you organize your life to make time to do the things you’re most passionate about?