How Can We Please God in Our Schedules?
Ever wish you could be in two places at once? Ever try it? We might all be guilty of texting during a conversation. Kara wisely refocuses our attention on how to spend our time on what really matters. (This is a repeated article. Still great, timely truth! We are working to create a new Family Matters experience for you!)
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29
We are a busy and fast-paced people. Sure, technology has made things more efficient for us, but I can’t help but wonder if the way we spend our time is the way God intended.
In his book, Tech-Wise Family, Andy Crouch distinguishes between God’s design for our time, and what our society has succumbed to. “Instead of work and rest, we have ended up with toil and leisure… If toil is fruitless labor, you could think of leisure as fruitless escape from labor. It’s the kind of rest that doesn’t really restore our souls…”
We operate by the demands and urgencies of the world around us, toiling to meet expectations that are rarely physically or creatively inspiring. Then, with any slow moment that passes, we pull out our devices and escape to our Newsfeeds and Netflix, ending our days exhausted and depleted.
So, how in this world of great expectations and distractions around every corner, do we fight to protect God’s design for our time?
- Clarify family priorities. Start by focusing on what is important to your family. There are things like feeding bellies and getting sleep that precede most, but outside of the essentials, distinguish what matters most to your family. What things are getting in the way of those priorities? What can you say no to? What do you want to be able to say yes to? Make a list of what needs to get done, what you hope to accomplish, and what can and might need to fall behind.
- Create rhythms and routines. I’ve learned as spontaneous as I like to be, I function best with structure. He is a God of order, and I think He created us the same way. Look at your priorities, and ask what is necessary to accomplish daily? Weekly? Monthly? Annually? Then, create a plan. Give yourself and the members of your family a consistent ‘wake-time’ and ‘bed-time’. What will mornings look like? And after school? When will you plan for meals? Grocery shop? Have a family game night? Getaway for a weekend? Schedule what is important to you, so the urgent doesn’t take over. As you commit to your rhythms and routines, give yourself and your family grace in the process.
- Carve out time for rest. God modeled this by resting on the seventh day after creating for six. We will do well to carve out time for rest also. This is something our culture does not do well, but it is for our best. Let’s help our family thrive by honoring this practice. Set aside intentional time, to stop and rest. Turn off devices. Get outside. Take a nap. Enjoy community. Read a book. Worship God. Share a meal together. Use paperware. Play a game. Go on a walk. Stop producing, surviving and striving, and instead, enjoy God and your family and rest.
God has given us a design to thrive within. Now, let us protect what is best for our family and experience freedom in the order!
Outside of school, and sleep, what do you spend the most time doing? Are there things you wish you could do, but don’t feel like you have time for? Brainstorm with your family how to re-order your time to make the most of what matters!