Untimely Management

My lovely Bride occasionally tells me I have lousy time-management skills. These sorts of comments really torque me off, and I would muster up a vehement, opposition argument if it weren’t true. Alas and alack, it IS true.

My problem has always been this. The most important thing to me is what I’m doing at the time. I get totally focused, and you’d better not confuse me with priorities. That’s just irritating.

The thing that interests me most usually tops my priority list. The obvious problem with that sort of prioritizing is that the thing that interests me the most is often not the most important thing to accomplish. Anyone else have this problem? Of course you do. That’s why entire seminars and courses are offered in time management.

The old (and often true) statement relays the thought that “time is money.” If our time is mismanaged, we will lose money. Even worse, we’ll lose time—possibly our most vital treasure. As everyone knows, we cannot replace the time we’ve lost.

I say we know that, but we seldom act like we know it. We’re quite good at wasting time (at least, I know I am). It’s a sad fact, but an accurate one.

Happy New Year

So now, we’re heading into a New Year. If I live through the entire three hundred and sixty-five days, I’ll have a lot of time to waste (or manage). I don’t think I’ll be reading a time management book or anything, but I suppose a New Year’s resolution to be better about using my time would be in order. The big problem with that, however, is the fact that resolutions are a waste of time (specifically what I’m attempting to avoid).

Maybe the best thing for me to do would be to look to Scripture for a snippet that would prod me toward the greater good. Lo and behold, I know such a passage. It’s found in the Old Testament book of Esther.

Esther was Jewish and married to a gentile king. She was in a position to attempt to save her people from destruction. Even as queen, her standing was tenuous, and she would be taking her life in her hands to pursue such a venture.

Nevertheless, Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, urged her to use her position to sway the king’s hand in the matter. If she were successful, the Jews would be saved (possibly including her own life). In his argument for her intervention, he uttered this famous phrase—“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

If I could adopt such an attitude, it might go a long way in helping me reform my bad, time-management habits. If I am born for such a time as this, my time must be rather important. If it’s that important, I dare not waste it.

As my Mother used to say, “Time’s a-wasting! Let’s get crackin’!” Apparently, she recognized my lousy time-management skills as well.

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]

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