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15 April -What’s on your schedule?

I was thinking today about schedules, and that its okay and necessary to deliberately schedule time for Jesus, your partner, children, friends and others; to make lists of what’s important and to clarify what we spend time doing.

There always seems to be a lot going on, and not enough time to do it. If we don’t purposely plan and schedule time for what’s really important in our lives it often just doesn’t happen. Our intentions may be good, but in a busy life and household instead of working together  and making time for common goals and values we can end up mis-communicating, and ultimately clashing.

I think God wants us to focus our efforts and schedules on those things that really matter and that we value most. Too often people don’t figure  what’s really important out until someone dies, they face a life threatening illness or some other tragedy.  How sad it is that we wait until something awful happens before we spend our lives in the pursuit of what truely matters to us.

Jesus said “I give you life, full, abundant and overflowing”. (John 10:10) But what does that look like for you?

Is it to have close, meaningful relationships with people that you love, to know God more deeply; that you’re using your talents and experiences to do things that have meaning.

If we want a different life from the one we have; if we want a different result, we actually have to do something different.

Here are 5 Steps to help declutter your schedule and live a more purposeful life.

1. Acknowledge the fact that you can’t do everything.

We can only do so much. We have to make important decisions to eliminate some things. We have to choose to remove the clutter from our schedules.

Clutter is the stuff that interferes with the life God planned for us to live. It slows us down from doing the things we value most. Clutter can be activity, mindsets, habits (I’ve always done this”) etc. Ask yourself why am I doing this? Did God ask me to? Can I use my time better?

2. Clarify what’s most important…to you!

The things that are important to you will affect how you make decisions and how you spend your days. Don’t rush into things, take some time and ask God for the “blueprint”, what are you aiming and planning towards? What is important?

Ask yourself, “What kind of person do I want to be? What relationships are most important to me? What do I want to accomplish?”

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.…” (Ephesians 5:16)

3. Determine what you have to do to live for those things.

Once you’ve identified what’s meaningful, you can begin to think about how you’ll get there.

Ask God to give you wisdom and clarity on how to map out a route to your destination. Figure out the best way to be and do what you want to be and do. If we don’t, we run the risk of just wandering around through life wishing it could be different, but never living the life we long for.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

4. Learn to say no! We all have to make choices about how we spend our time. We will have to say “no” to some things so we can say “yes” to others. Schedule and do the important, and not the urgent or what others say you should!

5. Find what motivates you and use it.

Think about what inspires you. What makes you come alive? What reminds you of the things you value most? Schedule and spend your time doing things, and being with those you love. If you don’t know what you like doing, or you are in a bit of a “rut”, take a day regularly to try something new until you find out.

Don’t allow things of lesser importance, or a schedule that is “full” but lacks meaning, to rob you of the life God wants you to be living.

Take a good look at your life and be honest. Pray, seek God. Make the time and effort to declutter your life; schedule in those people and things that matter to you, and start living your best life now!

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3)

Prayer: Lord help me to be honest about how I spend my time, and what my schedule looks like. Help me to live more focused and purposeful, making the most of the day and every opportunity.  In Jesus name amen.

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