There’s a little book in our church book store called “Time and the End of Time.” The cover and the title have attracted my interest, and several times I’ve picked it up to take a look at it. It was written by John Fox in 1676—not to be confused by the John Foxe of Foxe’s The Book of Martyrs.
Fox’s book is divided into Two Sections or Discourses: the first discusses the reasons why Christians ought to redeem their time; the second brings to focus the truth of our “latter end.” For the moment, you can read “Time and the End of Time” online here.
I should point that I haven’t read this book. This isn’t a book review. However, one thing which caught my eye was Paul Washer’s endorsement:
It [the book] is a theological treatise teaching us to live for the glory of God as wise stewards who have been given both time and resources to administer. The author writes pastorally as one who truly cares for our souls. Not only does he provide practical advice, but he also pleads with us to live for eternity and to walk circumspectly as those who will have to give an account on that final day. There is an urgency in his words that will wake us from slumber and impel us to ‘lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us and run with patience the race that is set before us. (Paul Washer; emphases mine)
"As Christians, we often acknowledge Christ’s rule over things like human dignity, marriage, and maybe even our finances, but we often miss how central a Christian view of time is to a truly Christian worldview. Thus, we often find our time hijacked, assumed, taken for granted, killed, wasted, and even forgotten." - Breakpoint
"Meetings, emergencies, and time with people are a given. But what about preparing messages, planning ahead, and crafting direction? Some leaders have excellent time management skills because they set large blocks of time for that work while others attempt to 'squeeze that work in' to their busy schedules." - Church Leaders
I love calendars, especially the twelve month variety with a beautiful picture on each page. They usually arrive in December, and I enjoy selecting the ones I will use during the coming year. On the first of January, I hang two new calendars, one in my study and another in my shop, while Marti does the same in the kitchen and at her desk. Of course, we must discard the old calendars, but I can never do so without a moment of reflection. Twelve pages of numbers tossed into heaps of household trash, but what momentous events those rumpled pages represent. Days of our lives now gone, like fallen leaves of autumn.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Time Use Survey (2012), the average working person between the ages of 25-54 spends 2.5 hours per workday in leisure and sports (is Facebook a sport?).
That’s 12.5 hours per week, about 50 hours per month, and roughly 600 hours per year. And remember—that does not include weekends! While we certainly need rest and recharging for the many tasks God provides, perhaps we can ask ourselves what we are doing with that 600 hours per year.
Consider some of these estimates:
I’m sure that every single reader of Sharper Iron has time management issues of some kind. We are all busy—and many are busy beyond juggling family, work, and ministry while trying to nurture one’s own physical and spiritual health and well-being. We are stressed, overwhelmed, and downright cranky.
My story probably doesn’t sound much different from anyone else’s. I’ve been a stay-at-home homeschooling mom for over 20 years, caring for an elderly mother with Alzheimer’s, organizing activities at church, leading a homeschool support group, writing for my blog, and hey—let’s not forget handling registrations for Sharper Iron. I sometimes don’t know how I got it all done, and then sometimes I didn’t. The laundry piled up, we ordered pizza for dinner, and I figured floors were just supposed to look like that, ‘cause they are, you know, floors.
I thought it would get better when my mom moved out into a nursing facility, and two more kids graduated from our homeschool. But as any workaholic will tell you, we just find ways to fill those gaps. I took a part-time job as an administrative assistant at our local Chamber of Commerce, and started writing a book.