Great to hear that you have had a restful week-end with time to relax, exercise, and enjoy the countryside!
In this letter we are going to look at time and tenacity. An unusual combination perhaps? Yet, I believe the two are linked!
While the author of the book of Ecclesiastes wrote, “ There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens ”, many of us struggle to find time for all the activities, roles and responsibilities that we currently find on our plates! There are for all of us only 24 hours in a day and even if we had 25 hours, we would still find them filling up.
In recent years much has been written about the topic of time. Any search on the internet reveals articles and blogs promoting their top 5 or 10 or 21 tips for managing time. Some authors make the distinction between ‘real time’ and ‘clock time’ and some refute the usefulness of time management strategies while others endorse them!
However there are some recurring themes among these authors. For example:
- the need for sleep,
- the importance of finding time for stillness,
- the ability to start early,
- to say ‘No’,
- to prioritise,
- to focus and
- to resist distractions and procrastination.
Many years ago, when I retired for the first time, in order to have more time for my family, friends and community, I began by considering carefully, my use of time. I remember reading a book called “How do you find the time? How to have all the time you need – everyday.” by Pat King.
I found it really helpful and inspirational at the time, though by today’s standards it will appear somewhat dated! The underlying time management principles remain valid and the author charts her journey of discovering how with God’s guidance busy women can find the time to do what they need to do.
She points out that God is not only the creator of time, but also the giver of time. Therefore we can ask him for time, if our supply of it is running out!
I have certainly found on countless occasions, over the years, that God has stretched out the time and enabled me to do more than I thought was possible within the allotted time frame. As the Psalmist said, “My times are in your hands.”(Psalm 31:15)
Managing our time flows more easily when we know what our priorities are and when we can learn to ignore distractions and distinguish between the urgent and the important.
So where does tenacity come in? I hear you ask! Well, we need to develop tenacity and perseverance in sticking to our guns when it comes to our use of time. When things are not going to plan we need to hang on to what is important regardless of the pressure to do otherwise. We also need to learn how to develop a positive stance towards failure and frustration. As Winston Churchill remarked, “…failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”
To conclude – what is the point of rest?
We are not machines and we are not built to go at full throttle without significant consequences to our physical emotional and spiritual health!
Taking time to rest, making time for exercise, silence and solitude, and managing our time well, will enable us to lead a more balanced life and will enable us to experience more fully the abundant life that Jesus offers us (John 10:10).
Take time to slow down, to rest, and be renewed by leisure activities, so that the demands and pressures of life do not become overwhelming.
Keep practising the discipline of stopping!
Looking forward to seeing you soon!