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Archive for February 1st, 2022

MEDITATION:

Written by Dana Allin, a contemporary pastor and synod executive.

I have always felt like the beginning of Ephesians 5 reads a lot like Proverbs. Paul seems to string together a lot of wonderful, but short, instructions on how we are to live in light of the grace of God… Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”   The concept of making the most of every opportunity can be anxiety and guilt-producing. We can constantly ask, “Is what I am doing the absolute best use of my time?” I don’t think this kind of relentless pressure is helpful, nor is beating ourselves up when we spend too much time binge-watching Netflix. I also don’t think it means we need to be working 24/7. In fact, Scripture commands certain rhythms in our lives to balance where we put our time and energy.  In light of that reality, it is very helpful to take a proactive step to determine how we may best steward the time and relationships that God has entrusted to us.

It is helpful to think through this question as an individual and as a church. For example, here are the questions, or types of questions, I ask myself every year: What opportunities is God putting before me that I might take for granted or be oblivious to? Another way to put it is, “What are the opportunities before me of which I need to be mindful? Sometimes I can get so caught up in my own agenda that I forget the opportunities God is giving me each day to be able to further instill the gospel in my family. In addition, when I play tennis, sometimes I think the purpose of that is simply for exercise and to get my mind off of other things. However, the reality is that both of these situations are often opportunities to share the gospel in word and deed.  What are the important things I want to do in my personal life that may get crowded out by the less important? This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to cut out all Netflix. However, we know there are times we can get sucked into shows or endless scrolling through social media that do keep us from using our time most wisely. Therefore, the question might be, what are the things I really want to make time for (exercise, reading, relationships, time with Lord) and how do I make sure those important things make it into my day? What are the important things I want to do in my vocational life that might get crowded out by the less important? Peter Drucker famously said that he never met executives that couldn’t remove 25% of what they were doing from their plates and no one would know the difference. Imagine regaining a whole workday a week to reallocate your time to what is the most important work. Therefore, the question becomes, “What do I need to stop doing and what do I need to start doing?”

PRAYER:

Written by Timothy Keller, a contemporary American pastor, theologian, and author.

Lord, today give me a sense of your presence and wisdom and compassion in all my dealings. Let me accept whatever degree of success or difficulty in my work you give me this day and especially let me be ready to be interrupted to do good to others, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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