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Do you block out time for your most important priority–spending time with your Heavenly Father?
For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Luke 14:28
Each year in August I order next year’s appointment calendar. At our two-day planning retreat each fall, my staff and I use our calendars to chart every church activity in the coming year. I like to stay well ahead of the game!
One day, as I sat at my desk with my shiny new calendar in hand, I felt very proud to see so many future activities already penciled in. I’m in control of my time, I thought. Nothing is going to sneak up and catch me unaware.
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But I still had a nagging feeling that I was living on the ragged edge. Even with my year scheduled, I knew my life was slowly moving out of control. I was constantly tired, depressed and felt trapped by the push and shove of events.
When I shared my feelings with a friend, he suggested a very strange thing. “May I see your calendar?” he asked. As he and I slowly thumbed through it, we made a startling discovery.
“Your calendar is nearly full,” my friend said, “but where is the time for God, for the important people who sustain you?”
I was stunned. Every day listed meetings with everyone–except God. I hadn’t planned my year properly. I’d left out my annual camping trip with the boys and my wedding anniversary with my wife Beth. An efficient life, I saw, isn’t the goal. My happiness and well-being depend on a solid foundation of faith and family–my true priorities.
This year, before I pencil anything into the crisp, blank pages of my new appointment book, I’ll block out my time properly: God, my family, myself. For as Jesus said, “Don’t begin until you count the cost” (Luke 14:28, TLB).
Dear God, in the days ahead, help me to begin properly: putting first things first. Amen.