We know we have the same 24 hours that everyone else does, but many of us aren’t content with our time. I know, because of the innumerable books, articles, and tools sold on the basis that they can give us more time.
Our discontent with time is obvious when:
- We procrastinate. We wish we had more time to do the things we enjoy, rather than those we don’t.
- We complain about how busy we are.
- We are annoyed by people who slow us down.
- We arrive late. We wanted more time to do something else.
- We cut our sleep time short. We wish we had more active hours each day.
- We multi-task, giving nothing our full attention.
- We live in fear of not getting everything done.
- We spend our time looking for ways to save time.
Discontentment with time has become socially acceptable, even among Christians. While there is wisdom in some time management and productivity teaching, we can use the information to feed our discontentment and find ourselves in a vicious cycle. The following parable came to me as I sought the Lord’s wisdom for my discontentment with time:
There was once a very competent woman who was hired by a brilliant man in a company that was destined for success. He took his time interviewing her so he could put her in a position that would make the best use of her abilities, but would also enable her to grow. He gave her a simple job description and invited her to come to him each morning to ask what he would like her to do. He also made it clear that he might call upon her unexpectedly as well, but that he would be sure to provide her with everything she needed to do a good job for him.
At first the woman was delighted with her boss. He was the nicest boss she could imagine having. He gave her meaningful work that made the days fly by and she felt great! But after she grew accustomed to the job, she figured it really wasn’t necessary to meet with him each morning. She pretty much knew what needed doing. In fact, she even recognized some things that needed doing that her boss hadn’t mentioned. She was quite excited about her new projects, but also surprised and even a little irritated when her boss interrupted them to give her work she wasn’t expecting.
At about the same time, she noticed that some of her co-workers could really use some training. They weren’t doing their jobs well at all. She meant to just train them, but before she knew it, she was doing some of her co-workers’ tasks, too. As a result, she had to keep longer hours. She stayed later and came in earlier. She even had to take work home! She lost sleep as she worried about how she would get it all done. Finally, she was so stressed that she decided to talk to her boss about the impossible workload he’d given her. Things were so bad and he hadn’t done anything to help her. Didn’t he care about her at all?
Our Awesome Boss
What’s missing from the analogy is that God isn’t just a boss, but the one who created us to do good works (see Ephesians 2:10). We don’t really know our loving God if we think He would give us more tasks than time to do them in. I feel so terrible for being the woman in the parable.
While I believe we are to be content with the time the Lord has given us, I also believe that God can supernaturally expand our time when necessary to do His work. I have had times when I was overbooked and stressed, but I met with my Boss and asked for help. Commitments I had suddenly disappeared or I felt like Wonder Woman doing things in hyper speed.
When we are discontent with our time, let’s meet every morning with our awesome Boss. Let’s ask Him what He would like us to do, what He would like us to let go of, and for the grace to accept the time we have as more than enough.
Have you ever been the woman in the parable? Has God ever supernaturally expanded your time, so you could finish the work He gave you?