I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to wrap my head around a world where time doesn’t exist.
Just think about heaven, not hurriedly rushing to and fro to make ends meet, working hard to accomplish goals, and caring for loved ones. The notion of nothing to be concerned with besides simply being in the presence of and worshipping our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, sometimes can seem like a fairy tale, can’t it?
But we know it’s true and that it will be here sooner than we think. However, we are still here on earth, and we have lots to accomplish before He calls us home.
People to serve, ministry goals and outreach programs to lead, bills to pay, mouths to feed, family’s to care for – all things that can pull at our time (even though they are good things).
How do we merge the here and now with the eternal?
Is there a way to pull all this off and still create time for God in the midst of it all?
There is!!! Lemme show you how…💕
How do I create time for God in the midst of the world’s distractions?
First things first…
You have precisely the same amount of time as every high-achieving person or famous celebrity you could name? Every past (and current) President or world leader?
It’s true. So if we all have the same amount of time, how do we quite literally go about finding time for God?
Someone may have read the title of this post and thought, well, that’s an easy answer. I know how to find time for God. You just prioritize. Case closed, end of the story. But if it were that easy, wouldn’t everyone be so spiritually minded that no one would be rude at the grocery store or cut you off in traffic?
I’m not sure when the last time you were inside a bookstore was (or if you’re an online shopper). But have you considered how many self-help, productivity, and time management books are in print?
The number is astronomical and growing every day. People are desperately searching for solutions to manage their time and find more of it. The problem is that many of these resources include ungodly practices, like new-age tactics. So today, we will do a deep dive into what all of this looks like for a Christian and how we can uncover pockets of time for God.
One of the things I find fascinating about Jesus’s life on earth is His laser-sharp focus. It’s one of the things that REALLY sticks out to me as I read about Him. He’s very clear-cut, Okay, it’s time to go. Okay, let’s go here now. Now there. Let’s go to this house. Let’s stay with these people. You haven’t asked me, okay, I must stay with you. 🙂 That kind of focus is amazing and I’m literally in love with it!!!
He made it clear to everyone that He was here to do His Father’s will. Nothing more and nothing less. He was so crystal clear that He made saying “no” look simple and easy. Wouldn’t you love to have such a clear mission and purpose that you effortlessly said yes, or no at any given time?
Well, I believe we do have a clear mission! And for our time together today, we’re going to identify that mission as cultivating an eternal perspective. A mindset free from solely pursuing joy on earth with little to no thought to what spending an eternity in heaven will be like.
The ways we manage and keep our daily life have a lot to say about what’s important to us, don’t they?
The more we understand the connection between our life here and our eternal life in the future, the more receptive we will be to implementing any necessary changes. So let’s look at what we have in our power to change and control. Think of it like if you’ve ever created a plan to get out of debt – or you wanted to save for a big purchase. You begin by looking at your checking account and debit or credit card statements to see where your priorities lie. And then, you can create a more realistic budget, knowing that the end goal (debt-free or a big expense) will be worth the changes you have to make.
Same thing applies here.
When finding time for God, we know the more we invest our lives in kingdom purposes, the more we can potentially store up treasure in heaven, where our ultimate rewards can’t be stolen or waste away in decay.
Here’s how an eternal perspective can (and should) influence how you use your time.
First, it can allow you to say yes or no to invitations and responsibilities much quicker. I know it can be so hard to say no. In fact, it’s usually a much bigger problem for women than men. But if we’re going to find time for God, then we have to clear out some space in our schedules.
Something you can do immediately is color-code your schedule. Grab a highlighter (or use the fill function on an e-calendar). And highlight everything that is non-negotiable (things that must be done) in yellow, including sleep and rest!
Take a look at what’s left in your schedule and assign categories to them – like social, friends, recreation, etc. That should give you a rough idea of where you’re allocating your time. This is like taking inventory. Since we all keep different schedules, it’s hard to speak to something specific, but in general, is your schedule reflective of your heart and love for Christ? Do you see any time slots that could be rescheduled or canceled altogether so that you could find time for God?
None of this is easy. Especially when we have demanding work or family responsibilities, and we treasure every second of peace and quiet we get. But what if we shift our beliefs about how we spend our free time? What if we could arrive at where we treasure time spent with God and for God just as or even more relaxing and fulfilling than our free time? Wouldn’t that make this process simpler and more manageable?
I think it would and highly suggest starting with assessing the current state of your emotions. How would you describe your emotional state – do words like overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious come to mind when you think of how you feel?
If so, go back and look at your color-coded schedule to figure out what’s causing these feelings. Can you point to anything non-negotiable you can delegate? If not, could you eliminate something in another category (example: social events that stress you out to the max) and set aside that time and invest it in better ways that will cultivate a better eternal perspective?
Schedules can be fluid and change weekly, so typically, this isn’t a one-and-done activity. It’s more about getting into the habit of seeing what’s on your plate causing these feelings. And then addressing them head-on with the help and support of your spouse and/or family. It’s not something you want to leave unchecked because the state of your emotions significantly impacts everything, so we definitely need to be in tune with them, while lining up our lives (and emotions) up to the Word of God.
Some women will naturally have more difficulty dealing with their emotions, regardless if it’s caused by factors outside or within their control. I don’t believe that if Christians aren’t joyful every second of the day, something is wrong with their faith as some would suggest.
Christians DO experience depression!
I myself have experienced it in a few different times of my Christian life, to the point of wanting to die and be with God, but saying that I wanted to stay here on earth solely that I should be a witness for God. Like Paul says in the Bible, he’d rather be with God but for their benefit (the benefit of the people he’s serving), he stays. Philippians 1:21-30. I know that feeling all too well. I AM only here on earth because of that reason. I want my life to matter for Christ. I want to be used by Him. Every day. Every moment.
If you’re feeling very depressed and you feel like a sub-par Christian, please, PLEASE KNOW that you’re not alone and that you’re NOT sub-par. Everyone has different seasons they are going through. The Bible talks about hills and valleys. Good times and bad. Times of refreshing, times of pain. A lot of different times in Ecclesiastes 3. So we know there are ebbs and flows of life and it’s okay. Take a look at how you’re feeling, what’s causing it and then fix it. 🥰
Once you take a solid look at your emotional well-being, then it’s time to check in on your physical state.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how exhausted do you feel on a daily basis?
If you’re constantly tired, is there anything you can do to get more sleep? Have you tried eating a balanced diet and getting moderate physical activity during the week (since studies have shown this helps improve sleep)? How are your adrenals? Are you taking Sabbath days off? Are you spending enough time on hobbies and fun things and not working TOO hard?
From experience, these things take a while before you see any long-lasting noticeable changes; think thirty days or more (it’s not a quick-fix). Something that will have a more immediate effect will be creating better sleep habits. Even if you can’t get eight or more hours of sleep, you could try to get to bed every night at the same time, keep your bedroom nice and cool, use white noise or a fan to help your mind shut down, and wear a sleep mask if you don’t have a dark room. Keep your room decorated in calming colors like greens, blues, etc. Using RED in the bedroom may be pretty but it’s a firey color that will keep you up at night.
Another thing you can do is to use medical-grade Vetiver essential oil. Rub a drop on your brow bone (which is right above your eyebrows) and it’ll help all that mind chatter go away! It’s my secret weapon for keeping my mind clear and I use it as needed. 😊
Maybe you can’t change some everyday mandatory obligations in your schedule, but if you took a week-at-a-glance view, can you honestly admit that you are allocating a day of rest? I take Sabbath days off (for the most part). If you have not been taking a day off each week, definitely pray about it and consider it. It’s not a mandatory thing that you HAVE to do, but it is a WISE thing to do.
I also like to take a couple days off during the week (so the blog doesn’t suffer and not a lot of people notice) sometimes too. Every 5-6 weeks, take a couple days off. Have yourself a 4-5 day weekend. Go somewhere. Do something. Get out of the house. Get some sun. Do something for yourself. Everyone has a different idea of doing something relaxing, but relax you MUST.
Your emotional and physical condition are the two biggest areas that often cause the most obstacles and stand in your way of seeing the glass half full. With prayer, introspection, and reflection, you can start coming up with infinitely possible ways to find time for God.
In fact, I think you’re much more likely to experience an easier/less stressful time doing so! Because if you’re proactively doing what’s in your control to alleviate emotional and physical overwhelm – you’re more likely to be creative (and fun to be around)! It really doesn’t benefit anyone if you are exhausted and depressed all the time, does it? 💣
So taking rest is necessary, proper, and good for you.
One more thing before we wrap up- if none of what we’ve discussed here so far sounds like it will work for your situation, you may need to “get busier.”
Say what? I thought this post was about creating time, not filling it back up and getting busier!
When I say “get busier,” I’m talking about replacing things in your schedule that doesn’t bring you joy with activities, jobs, and projects you LOVE.
The kinds that you can easily get lost in, and you can probably think of those types of things right now. And I say this because what happens when everything on our calendars isn’t fun to do or drags us down (essentially depressing us) then, by default, we walk around feeling drained all the time. If everything in our life drains us of energy, then it’s no wonder we aren’t motivated to find time for God! Does this make sense?
This tactic isn’t about adding random things in- it’s about intentionally replacing (or swapping) the energy-sucking items for life-giving and joy-producing ones.
Now please understand, as I mentioned previously, everyone has different things that energize them. We all have different personalities. Kyle for example, LOVES to be around people. It really ENERGIZES him to speak to people publicly. Being around people in social situations, having conversations, getting to know people. People, people, people! He LOVES it.
ME, on the other hand, being around groups of people, stresses me out like you would not believe. I’m such an introvert. I’d MUCH rather, sit by the fireplace with the Bible in my hand, curled up in a fuzzy blanket, nice and peacefully quiet….OR creating printables. Ya’ll know how much I LOVE creating printables. 😉
Each personality is different. We are all made differently and so what energizes ME, may be very different than what energizes you.
Here’s the point…NEITHER is right or wrong.
Do you get that?
Whatever it is that energizes YOU, you should do it. You love it, you should do it and you need to do it to BE healthy. Does that mean if your husband and you get energized/rest in different ways, you should do things apart?
Absolutely. Take a little bit of time and really do the things that energize you. We should also do those things together. For example, me going to a social situation I hate because he likes it. But not ALL the time. Because he needs far more of that than I do. And we shouldn’t and can’t change our personalities and no one should be expected to. Again, we’re made different and there IS joy in BEING different and it’s okay.
One common excuse to not taking time off, and then becoming burned out is that they are in ministry. I find this one extremely hard for myself, personally. I don’t feel like it’s okay for me to justify taking time to myself, when there are so many people hurting out there and who NEED this ministry and me to work and write and produce all of the helpful things.
If you’re like me, and you have this thought, we need to STOP!
It’s a little prideful, don’t you think? We tend to think that God needs US to do everything. If WE are not doing all that we are capable of, if we take time to rest, things don’t get done.
In all the history of histories of the beginning of the world till now, our lives are so vastly futile and fleeting. God doesn’t need US to do everything and we don’t HAVE to do everything. Do you get that?
You’re not (and I’m not) the ONLY people working on earth to bring the gospel to the nations. We are not the ONLY people God is using. And God created things like Sabbath days for everyone. He didn’t say, “Okay, you Susie, you don’t get a Sabbath day because YOU’RE in ministry”. No! He gave it to everyone, because we ARE human. He created us to need rest.
We cannot believe that the world will blow up if Sarah Titus is not working today. That’s pride if we do. We need rest.
Secondly, if you don’t take rest, you’ll get burned out and then you can’t be useful to ANYBODY!
When we are burned out, we become super cranky. How am I supposed to go and share the gospel with someone when I’m cranky? I can’t GIVE to others what I do not have myself. If I haven’t spent time at the Lord’s feet, I cannot give out of nothing. HE is my source of joy and happiness and not taking time to be filled with His living water, makes me UNABLE to serve others. Do you know what I mean?
We must have a proper balance. Work hard in the Lord and for His kingdom, absolutely, but take rest times. Take breaks. Take time for yourself, make time for God.
Have you ever heard the saying, “If you need something done, give it to a busy person?”
The reason this holds true is that busy women are excellent prioritizers. They understand how to maximize pockets of time and slot things in so everything gets done- they’re on top of everything. But then the opposite can also hold true. This may not describe you, and if it doesn’t, you probably know some women who walk around always feeling (and looking) lethargic and zapped of life.
They are tired, and everything that comes out of their mouths is an excuse- and they drag you down. You just want to get away from them. And it has nothing to do with not loving them; it’s just the effect they have on you. Have you noticed these people usually have a more challenging time rallying and mimicking a busy woman’s non-stop, productive and balanced lifestyle?
For the most part, the busy women described above enjoy their lives. And although you can’t see it, they arrived at this point likely because they know how to set good boundaries. They mostly only say yes to and take on things that fit within their priorities. The women barely making it through each day (drinking ten cups of espresso) may need to take a lesson from their playbook. Become more assertive, stand up for themselves, be brutally honest, and be willing to say no if it doesn’t line up with your long-term goals and eternal rewards.
So, if this sounds like it might apply to you, take a look at your calendar and put a star beside the things that bring you joy (even if they are mundane). Then honestly, look at (evaluate) what’s left, and ask yourself if there is a reasonable way to turn the uninspiring into the inspiring. Is there a way to complete these tasks in a way that doesn’t make them so unenjoyable? That’s the million-dollar question, and it might not be apparent at first, so be patient but keep yourself curious about what it could look like.
And if that’s not readily apparent and you can’t outright swap things, you could also combine the mundane with something that is more fun. For example, let’s say you are dreading folding laundry. I mean, like you dislike it so much that if you could, you would gladly pay someone to do it for you. But since the laundry has to be folded, what’s a way you could combine it with something you love doing? If you love reading, listen to the Bible being read to you while folding laundry.
Oh my gosh, I cannot tell you how SOOTHING it is for me personally to hear a man’s voice read me the Bible. I have NO IDEA why. I truly don’t, but I find it SO comforting. So, listen while you are doing laundry.
I love to create printables (something that doesn’t suck up brain power) while I’m listening to a sermon or listening to godly Christian music on YouTube (here’s my playlist if you’d like it!)
The same goes for movies, documentaries, YouTube videos, and the like. FaceTime a friend, use the voice recorder on your phone and sketch out that book you’ve always wanted to write, or do something like bake cookies while doing laundry.
Can you start to see how getting creative and finding those ways to add more excitement to your schedule can end up helping you find more time for God?
I’ll be straight with you, it’s going to feel like you’re turning the Titanic around but keep at it. Don’t give up. Stay the course. You’ll never have the perfect schedule or the perfect set of circumstances. All you can do is keep practicing – making better decisions – and before long, you will see improved results.
Hopefully you gleaned a lot of great tips here today and you’re ready to implement some things! I believe that we will prioritize finding and creating more time for God when we cultivate an eternal perspective.