The Illusion of Time

We are nearing the end of the first half of this year, and that has me thinking a lot about time. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that time waits for no man. We all have a limited amount of time on this earth and I personally would like to make the most of my time, and even more, the best of my time.

No matter what the issue, it’s always the same excuse: I don’t have time to exercise, I don’t have time to go back to school, I don’t have time to start my new business, I don’t have time to start a new relationship – it has become the default excuse. The truth of the matter is we are all granted the same 24 hours every day. Think about it, when you look at successful people or just people who seem to get so much accomplished, it’s not because they have more time to do it, it’s because they choose to use their time wisely. No, this blog is not about how you can manage your time better. I don’t think that’s the reason many of us don’t accomplish more.  The more important question is, “what are we doing with the time God has allotted us?” Are you doing what you were created to do? Are you doing that thing that only you can do – that nobody can do better than you? I believe God created each of us for a special assignment while we’re here on this earth, and if you’re fulfilling your assignment, I doubt you are someone who is having a hard time managing your time, or that you would dare waste it.

There are a few times in my life that I absolutely know without a shadow of a doubt  that I am fulfilling my assignment. It’s primarily because of the way I feel while doing it. I feel it mostly on two occasions – when I’m facilitating a training (especially among a group of kids) and when I’m writing. I LOVE being in front of an audience and I LOVE to write! When I finished writing my second book it was bittersweet. I felt so elated at the joy I felt from getting it done, and I felt a little sad the experience was ending. As I completed the final words and closed my laptop, the first thing I said was, “I KNOW I will do this again.” That book was never planned, it was an idea God dropped in my spirit at the end of October in 2005 – I had no idea how it would get published, I didn’t have any money, but I didn’t concern myself with that – I just did it. I was about a month and a half from my birthday, and I decided to write it, publish it, and celebrate its completion with a “birthday book signing”, and on December 15, 2005 that’s EXACTLY what I did. The writing process wasn’t agony, it was a labor of love and the words came to me so effortlessly. As I was writing it I knew I was operating in my gift and fulfilling my assignment. At that point I didn’t have any idea when I’d write it or what it would be about, but I knew I’d write another book.

I heard a minister on television, Dr. Mike Murdoch, say something profound recently. He said, “When you are where you are assigned you have no rivals.” Let that sink in for a moment – “when you are where you are assigned you have no rivals.” There’s a confidence in knowing that you are where you’re supposed to be and doing what you know you were called and/or created to do. When you are operating in that realm there is no competition. You don’t worry about whether or not there’s a better employee in your office, a better student in your class, or even a better parent in your subdivision. You know that you own that space and you have no rivals. So, as we get back to the initial observations of this blog – how we may or may not be wasting our time – let me ask you this, “Are you operating in your assignment?” Do you even know what your assignment is? If not, now is the time to figure that out. I encourage you to look back over your life and try to identify any moments that you felt complete joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment while doing a particular task or activity. A moment when you got so caught up that you lost track of time.   It doesn’t have to be associated with your job. It could be something totally unrelated to your job. It could be when you’re coaching the girls cheerleading squad; when you’re directing the choir; it could be when you’re babysitting your neighbor’s kids, or when you’re running (trust me, the ability to run well and to enjoy it is a gift). Whatever it is, find out ways to do that more often. As long as you nurture that part of your life when you are operating in your gift and fulfilling your assignment, the rest of your life will become more fulfilling. Even if you’re not on a job you like, but you’re nurturing your gift outside of work, it allows you to focus more on what you love so the job becomes irrelevant –you no longer feel unsatisfied or unfulfilled.

Life is short and time waits for no man –enjoy it while you can!

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