I don’t know about you but for me, 24 hours just does not feel like enough time to get all the things that I need to do in a day. I mean, there’s chores, and work, and cooking, and don’t even get me started about exercise, meal prep, devotionals, “quiet time”. Who even has time for quiet time!? Certainly not me. I’m lucky some mornings if I have enough time to properly finish my skincare routine or shave in the shower. (Please tell me I’m not alone here).
Time is something I can’t control so you better believe that gives me more anxiety than just about anything else. My anxiety is certainly triggered by things I can’t control, and time is one of those things I will never be able to. It just is what it is.
But how amazing is it that time isn’t something we are allowed to control? I mean, yeah, as someone who might be a little bit of a control freak like myself, it’s kind of frustrating at times. But really, when you think about it, God, who is separate from time, God, who is in control of time, God, who knows everything outside of time’s constraints, He protects us from this burden of time. “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36). God knows that the demand of this world is strifling. He knew that the hustling age in which we’re currently living in would come. And He warns us and advises us in His Word to steward our time well.
But how? How do we do that, God?
“I’m so tired. I just don’t have enough time for this right now.”
Yeah girl – Me too.
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:15-17, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” If you were to take an honest look at your day, how much of that time is being filled with “worldly pleasures”? How much of that time is spent scrolling social media? How many episodes of that show did you watch on Netflix? Were there times today that you spent being unproductive when you should have been doing the tasks that had been assigned to you?
I know, I know. This one is hard for me too.
Paul writes in Ephesians to “[make] the best use of the time, because the days are evil” because there are so many opportunities for distraction in our day to day. I mean, that little computer sitting in your hand currently blowing up with notifications is proof enough that we are constantly being distracted. Yes, I am talking about your smartphone.
The last thing the enemy wants us to be doing is focusing on the will of God. The last thing he wants us to be doing is spending time in the presence of God, intimately pursuing His will, and living out the calling the Lord has given us. But, my sweet friend, you have no idea how much that means to God.
Here are some practical ways to steward your time in a way that glorifies God and allows you to live your life abundantly, which Jesus came to give us the ability to do (John 10:10).
Wake up early
Whether you’re a morning person or not, it’s good to start your morning with plenty of time to give the Lord your first and your best. If I’m being completely honest, this isn’t something that I’m great at. I love to press the snooze button a couple times and say “just a few more minutes”. If we actually woke up when our alarms go off instead of pressing snooze, we could spend those few precious, quiet, early morning moments with God. These moments with God will set the tone for the rest of the day, allowing us to live out the day according to his purpose.
I like to get up and move first thing in the morning. It gives me energy, and makes me more alert. So I like to go to the gym before I head out to work in the morning. I know if I wait until the end of the day, I won’t get to it because I’ll have too much to do and not enough time to do it before I exhaust all of my energy for the day.
For you, it might look like taking a midday walk around the block, or maybe you are more of a night person so exercising in the evening is better for you. Whatever works best for you, make sure you include this. Aside from all the physical benefits of exercise, exercise has been proven in numerous cases to improve your cognitive development, increase energy and alertness, and improve overall productivity for the day. Find a way of you enjoy doing, a do it, 3-5 days/week.
Have a Calendar and Make a List
Whether you’re a handwritten kind of girl like me, or a technology type like my husband, it’s so much easier to get things done when you have them written down somewhere. We keep a shared calendar online so that we always know what our plans are for each day or week. For each day’s tasks, I’ve found that the act of writing them down and being able to cross them off one by one really makes all the difference. Prioritize the most urgent tasks first, the most time consuming for later, and finish the quick little tasks early so they don’t pile up.
Clean Up As You Go
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to clean up your workspace or if you’re stuck at home on a Saturday catching up on all the chores because you “didn’t have time” to do them during the week, keeping up with the small stuff can really make all the difference. Things like making sure the sink is clear before you go to bed and picking up clutter as you leave a room really make the “chore day” much easier to work through.
It’s important to make sure that you’re getting enough rest and keeping up with self care. If you have been neglecting yourself, your home, or your time to say yes to opportunities, you are doing more harm than good, and it’s not a good stewardship of your time. Even if those opportunities are good or ministry, God values rest just as much as He values hard work, so it’s okay to say no if you need to rest. Make sure that you’re getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night, and that you take some time to just be still and in the presence of God sometimes.
Honestly, I could go on and on about time, and stewarding that time, and God’s will for rest or exercise but maybe I’ll just have to make those separate blog posts for another day. Seriously, friend, God’s intention for us to steward our time is not meant to be a burden, but rather something that shapes us to be more like Him. The more time we devote to Him and His will, the more we will reap the benefits of what we have sown.