168 Hours

Last week I must have watched Polar Express, at the very least fifteen times.  Babysitting for a 9, 3 and 4-year-old sometimes becomes a repetitious act of love.  By saying that, I mean we often sacrifice our own peace of mind as we intentionally follow their desires.  Yet what is sweeter than having a grandchild sitting on your lap?  Even if it means sacrificing our time which could be reading a good book, doing laundry, making beds, preparing meals for them or even settling their fussy little arguments.

Then in the midst of the activities let’s throw in a trip to the Emergency Room and Urgent Care!  A schedule is tough to keep with three demanding little guys, and to have one wake you up screaming for help in the middle of the night sure sets a Mamaw moving fast!

Yet time keeps on moving. Time is just that, the moving forward…whether at a calm pace or a pace we are unprepared for.

There are lots of memorable moments in the movie, Polar Express.  Yet as I reflect back, in hindsight, one which stuck in my mind this go around, was the conductor pulling out his pocket watch.  He was on a tight schedule.  But despite all the interruptions, he seemed to always be on time reaching his destinations and completing the task at hand.

For some of us, the Christmas season always turns our wheels a bit faster.  Each day we seem to be counting the days until the 25th of December arrives.  As the days click by, we often allow ourselves to become a little more rattled as deadlines for parties, or trips or shopping enter our peaceful little world.

I have been reading a devotion by Pastor Rick Warren this week, entitled, How to Make the Most of Your Time.  Galatians 6:5 NLT tells us, “We are each responsible for our own conduct.” We each are given the same amount of time each week and every week.  The difference between each of us is how we make our lives count. And then, those of us who struggle to manage the time we are given.  The problem is, we tend to get so busy with our own agenda’s, and we never seem to manage our own time properly.  The Bible says in Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Time management must be taught. Being taught or being trained, we often are not very good at managing our time; but err on the side of wasting our time.  I admit I have many weaknesses in wasting my time.

Pastor Warren gives us a few ways for us to get a grasp on our calendars so we can make the best of our time.  One way is to assume responsibility for your time.  This will mean stop complaining about how much you have to get done, how much you are not getting done and how stressed and overworked you are.  Stop complaining and start choosing.

On the heels of last week, staying with three of our young grandchildren put time management in a whole new realm for me.  We didn’t plan to have a child come down with the croup while Mom and Dad are away. We didn’t plan for Gary and me to get sick, on top of caring for these three active little guys.  We didn’t have time for any of that. So we silently, unspoken made a few decisions.  I spent more time resting with the boys, reading or watching a movie with them.  Gary assumed the task of taking and picking up from school schedules, cooking their meals and running the errands.  I helped when I could…but my time, in hindsight was spent with a child sitting in the chair with me; or resting in the bed at nap time.  By the way, Papaw did catch some quick naps sitting in his chair.

Pastor Warren says there are three types of people in this world: “accusers, excusers, and choosers”.  You can figure out which one you might be.  And I will tell you who God wants us to be.  He wants us to be choosers.  He wants each of us to accept responsibility for our lives. Such as, we are as close to God as we want to be.  We are as spiritually mature as we want to be.  We are as happy as we want to be. We are as disciplined as we want to be. We are as busy as we want to be.  It’s our choice.

As I think back on all the activities last week, I feel exhausted.  But I wouldn’t change a thing by leaving dishes in the sink, for holding and cuddling my little guys.  When they take you by the hand and say, “come sit with me”, I did just that.

Here is our take away…When we sacrifice time for the right things, it seems the rest just falls into place.  The conductor of the train kept looking at his pocket watch, aware of his time schedule.  And his goal was to not be late for the children to learn to believe. This movie has a lot of inspiration oozing out of it!

In real time, do we stop what we are doing, check the time and say, “I have not spent my time wisely today…I left God out of my plans.”  What about His plans?  Did you know He was waiting for you this morning? He is always waiting for us to choose to stop and take a moment of your time and just sit with Him.  Climb upon His lap and say speak to me Father. The good news is, He is never late for us.  He is always on time.  I have a feeling if He carries a pocket watch, it stays in His pocket.

Wednesday Whisper:  Have you thought about the title of the Whisper today?  168 hours?  That is how many hours God has given us each week.  So as you see December 25th approaching, keep in mind the importance of each day.  Each God given day.  And choose to be reminded of the importance of each day. Our days are not promised, but the One whom we celebrate during this season is and will be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
P.S.  Sorry for the delay in posting today, but “time” got away from me.  But it is ok…it was a good time!