2019-12-19 Throwing It Overboard!

“Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began
the next day to jettison the cargo.”
Acts 27:18

How about some more on taking personal inventory. Let me give you some things from mine. Honestly, so much of it depends upon the use of my time. I have three big priorities. First, I want to share the gospel more. Second, I want to improve my relationships. Third, I want to treat my body as the temple of God. Simple enough. Notice, I didn’t put occupation. That is a different category all together. Let’s see how my schedule looks:

Monday – Friday. Work Related, 8-9 hours. Bedtime, 8 hours. God, family, friends, health, 7-8 hours.
Saturday. Chores, projects, errands, 8 hours. God, family, friends, health, 7-8 hours.
Sunday. God, 4-8 hours. Restful activity, 8 hours.

It’s really no different than a financial budget. There is only so much time to go around. Where I place my value is how I allot my available time. Yes, that’s all fine and good until I start doing the math and find myself with more want than supply. We all have the same problem.

We all typically have the same answer – we wing it and hope for the best. We spend our time as we see fit while pushing out other “expenditures.” We then find ourselves playing catch-up with some things that need to be done which puts other things further out. Soon, we get all exasperated and in frustration squander a whole bunch of time, like buying something we can’t afford. Before we know it, our kids are all grown; and we seldom talk with God.

This is an on-going process for me, but I think I’m on the right track. I start my budgeting process with Sunday, the one day of the week that God offers me guaranteed blessing. Of no other day of the week does he say this. I would be a fool to pass this up. Sabbath doesn’t have to be Sunday, so pick your day. The point is that if we complain about a lack of time, then look to God’s principles. Clear one full day a week for God. It’s not a day to catch up on all the other stuff you didn’t get to during the rest of the week. It’s a day for God and his priority relationships, family. Don’t knock it until you try it. Honestly, if you indulge yourself in studying God’s word and then applying what you have learned with your family, you will be rich beyond imagination.

Let’s suppose you make the wise decision and commit to Sabbath. This, then, puts pressure to fit what we USED to do on Sunday into the rest of the week. Folks, you’ll have to look at your own budget, but there are things that are big, big time wasters that can be looked at first. For me, it has to start with my attitude. If I have a bad attitude, my time budget goes out the door. Same with my calorie budget. If I’m in lousy mood, I don’t care like I should. That leads to more pressure and more apathy. I’m sure you can relate.

I have to be very careful to avoid these certain things that will take me from a good mood to a bad mood, or things that I get caught up in when I am already in a less than enthusiastic mood.

My Big No’s:
1. Mindless Activities. Facebook, TV, etc.
2. Idle Mind. I’m not talking about rest. This is letting myself lose focus.
3. Idle Body. A body at rest tends to stay at rest.
4. Isolation. The devil is most effective with sheep that are alone.

It’s surprising how expensive these “indulgences” are.

On the other hand, there are things that I CAN do that will help my attitude tremendously.

My Big Must-Do’s:
1. Pray First Thing & Last Thing. Thankful, worship. Armor of God. Your will, not mine.
2. Exercise. Simple calisthenics first thing in the morning. I have no extra time for a gym membership.
3. Devotions. Time daily with Melissa. This is that 3-chord stuff we hear about.
4. Family. Intentional time with my kids. Text, phone call, one-on-one. Regular so they can rely on it.
5. Encourage One Person a Day. Psalm 66:16. “…I will tell you what he has done for my soul.”
6. Share My Struggles. Talking really helps. I am not alone, so I shouldn’t act like it.

Folks, I’ve been observing Sabbath for several years now and have learned how to pare down much of the extra baggage in my life. I can’t imagine going back to trying to do it all. I simply won’t do it. I don’t have this perfected by any means, but I do find myself with some spare time now and then. It’s kinda nice. I’m using it to learn to play the banjo. I’ve always wanted to do that.

Father, you tell us to delight in you and you will give us the desires of our hearts. How wonderful is this promise! Indeed, your treasures are far more valuable than man’s. Thank you. Amen.

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

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