It's inevitable and universal, as soon as Christmas winds down and December 31 appears on our phones, we all face a new year with new opportunities. Many are resolving to lose weight or gain greater income or set some other goal, typically requiring will power and time management skills -- both of which often fade within a few weeks.
If God were writing our resolutions, what do you think He would come up with?
I think God wants us to make "time for a change."
Throughout the Bible, we see that God is a God of change. He's the ultimate game-changer, a change-agent that changes things, people, hearts and minds.
But it requires a slight, but powerful, paradigm shift of the rudders steering our energies and expressions. We're all given the same amount of time, and as hard as we try, our calendars often have more control over our schedules and lives than we realize. We get caught trying to do more within our allotted days, leading us to fatigue and frustration when we can't check off the items on our list.
God doesn't have the same time management problem we do. He's "omni-everything." He is The Great I am, who was and is and is to come. He's the Alpha and Omega. What really matters if we look through His lens that's not restricted to a clock? How should we use our time in His mind? What does God consider effective use of our time?
From His vantage point, life is more of a question about priority and perspective, not time -- a life of meaning, not efficiency.
The Bible says our lifespan is like a "vapor" that vanishes quickly.
"Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." -- James 4:13-14
After reading that, you can feel that God is way more concerned about meaning rather than urgency or efficiency. He wants us to do the meaningful things now, because we may not have time tomorrow.
Instead of making a list of resolutions and trying to cram more into your day, consider making just one. Make time for a change. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Look for Jesus Interruptions. Be like Mary who stopped everything to sit at Jesus' feet to be with Him, instead of Martha who got caught in the busy trap (Luke 10:38-42). In fact, Jesus gave us in verse 42 the only resolution necessary and Mary chose wisely. Being with Jesus, changes your perspective on life but you have to recognize His interruptions and respond, instead of carrying on with your busy life.
Make time with Jesus daily, and you will benefit all other areas of your life.
2. Look for Opportunities to Love Others. I think we often lose touch with opportunities to love others while scurrying to scratch off our to-do list. Being busy is not a badge of honor. We all know where the time goes, we just don't like the answer. Looking back, what were the most significant moments of your life? Were they planned and executed? Perhaps a few. But the moments of true meaning are when we stopped the world to attend to a relationship.
Be available for loved ones going through crisis, large or small, to create moments of meaning.
3. Look for What is Unseen. In2 Corinthians 4:18 "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." What does that mean? Be aware of God's eternal plan and adjust your temporary plans to accommodate. The Living Bible translation of Proverbs 19:21 says that "Man proposes, but God disposes" referring our plans versus His.
Make time for a change in your vision and look to accomplish eternal purposes.
4. Look to Create Rich Relationships. I think we all could use a little re-framing on this one. We spend so much effort earning money, instead of investing in relationships with those right in front of us -- our kids, spouse, family, neighbors and friends. I doubt your accountant will give your eulogy. There are no U-hauls in heaven. Relationships are eternal. Since relationships require communication, take time to learn to ask better questions and listen. The old saying is true, "people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."
It takes wisdom to make time for a change, and adjust your calendar to do what is really important. This year, when you look at your calendar, what will really shape your life?