But you are not alone! There are hundreds, if not thousands of books that have been written for the purpose of helping manage their time. A quick Google search will quickly reveal page after page of results all related to managing your time better. And, as the popular Apple slogan goes, “There’s an app for that”. Apple and Android have what seems an endless list of applications that are designed to help people manage their time. Whatever the case may be in your particular circumstance, it is undeniable that people in this world feel a great need to manage their time well.
Has it ever occurred to you, however, that the Bible has something to say about managing your time? Believe it or not, God has a very specific time-management plan laid out in His Word if people would just take the time to look at it! But before we look at the time-management plan that God has prescribed for each person on earth, we need to change our perspective.
Perspective can be a powerful thing. Not long ago, there was a lot of hype and publicity generated by the greatly anticipated Disney movie, "Frozen." Now I, having younger brothers that fall into the age category of less than 10, had the privilege of watching Frozen not once, not twice in a relatively short amount of time (and yes, I had the song “Let it Go!” stuck in my head for the next six months). But if you have seen this movie, you know what a powerful thing perspective can be.
CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD! I remember first being introduced to Prince Hans when he met Princess Anna. He seemed like a nice guy. Further into the movie, I was impressed with his dependability, willingness to sacrifice his time and resources in order to make a terrible situation easer to deal with. He was clearly in love with Anna, but he understood that she needed to deal with the complicated issue that she was facing before she could think about marriage. He was not only understanding of this fact, but he also tried to assist in any way that Anna felt he could. He made a perilous journey through the mountains, kept thinks orderly back at the castle, and many other things that we may not know about.
Now if you have seen the movie, you already know that everything I wrote is almost all a lie. Hans was not in love with Anna, he was only using her to gain control of her kingdom. He never tried to help Elsa, he actually tried to kill her! In other words, Hans was nothing like he first appeared. You can imagine then, how I felt during the second time I watched the movie. My initial thoughts of “Aw, that’s kind of sweet.” and “Wow, that is really admirable” quickly turned into internal shouts of frustration such as “Don’t trust him!” and “He’s a fake!” You see, my perspective had been altered so that I saw things in a completely different way. SPOILERS END HERE.
What I want you to do is change your perspective with me for a moment. I want you to imagine a piece of string. This piece of string is not like other string though, because this is the longest piece of string in the entire world. Imagine for a moment that you are holding one end of this string and the other end reaches all the way to moon and is securely fastened to the moon’s surface. Now, in your mind’s eye, look down at the hand holding the one end of the string. The portion of the string that this enclosed in your hand represents your life on this earth. The rest of the string represents your life after your time on this earth. Look at what the book of Psalms and 1 Peter have to say about a person’s life on this earth:
“As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.” – Psalms 103:15-16
“Because ‘All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away.’” – 1 Peter 1:24
These verses do not reflect what we typically think of when we consider “time-management." When we think of managing our time, we think of that little portion of the string that we hold with our hand and often times neglect to consider the vast amount of time that we will live for after our time on this earth.
When put in its proper perspective, a very different picture of time-management appears. Consider that Peter compares all the glory of man to a flower. What is the greatest achievement of mankind on this planet? Perhaps you think of the Great Pyramids in Egypt. Or maybe the Great Wall of China? What about setting foot on the moon? Even if you could not choose one, think of all the great events in history. All of mankind’s glory is like a flower - budding one day, lasting for a few more, and then withering away the next. Are you getting a different perspective?
When you are in university, it can be hard to look at things from a different angle. You have classes, assignments, labs, tests and studying! Somewhere in there you have to find time to eat and sleep, and sometimes that sleep part falls by the way-side. But once again, in your mind’s eye, look back down at that piece of string that you are holding. Your time in university hardly even spans the length of one finger! God is far more concerned about how you prepare for the rest of your life after earth than the grade you receive in your economics course.
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” –Matthew 16:26
If you ace every course, get a high paying job, marry the man or woman of your dreams, take the best vacations, drive the fastest cars, buy the biggest house, take the longest retirement, and have the biggest bank account in the entire world… what will it profit you if you neglect to prepare for your life after this earth? Nothing. You see, your soul is far more valuable than anything this world has to offer, God tells us that we need to ensure that it has a promising future. There is nothing wrong with going to university and getting an education. There is nothing wrong with getting a job or falling in love and marrying somebody. There is nothing wrong with earning money or retiring. But when these things become the focus of our lives, then we lose the proper perspective and that can be detrimental to our life after this earth.
So, what is God’s time-management plan? Look ahead to your future after your life on earth is done. Because after you die in this life, there is no going back (Heb. 9:27). Everyone who ever lived will live forever. You and I, after we die, we live forever after this life. How are you managing your time?