There is no shortage of books, planners, seminars, and apps to help you manage your time. The huge market for time management tools is an indication of the world we live in. Many of us are distracted, torn in many directions, working hard, yet often feeling guilty we are behind in all the things we should be doing. Christians are not exempt. In fact, followers of Christ have to further grapple with the demands of the church and the demands of the spiritual disciplines needed to sustain our life in Christ. How do followers of Christ experience some degree of shalom in our busy world?
Often, we, like those outside the church, look for some technique or some technology that will help us manage our time. In some ways this echoes the original temptation when we are told to eat the fruit we were not to eat and “be like gods”. In other words, we don’t need God. We can be our own gods. If only we had the right knowledge — the right technique, the correct app — we can solve our deepest problems by ourselves. We don’t need God.
But we will learn again and again, and sometimes painfully, that the solutions to our deepest problems are not technological but relational and spiritual. The first thing we need to do in any journey to finding some shalom in our hectic lives is to return to God. Jesus said:
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:27–30 NIV)
The first step in any Christian attempt to find shalom in our busy world is to return to the Father for at least two reasons.
1. We turn to the Father to meet our deepest needs. All of us are created to need love, significance and joy, and to have a relationship with our Creator. If we don’t turn to God to meet our deepest needs we will be burning a lot of our time chasing God substitutes.
2. We turn to the Father to tell us how we should use our time, indeed how we should use our lives. In the modern world we are bombarded with many options. When should we say yes? When should we say no? We turn to the Lord for direction and wisdom to guide us so that we will say yes when He says yes, and we will say no when He says no.
So any Christian approach to “time management” or should we say “life stewardship” because ultimately we want to be good stewards of our lives, would involve returning to Father.
You can hear more on this in this short audio clip:
Returning to Father
If you are unable to access the audio files in this post, you can click on this link: