Plan Time with God

Do you block out time for your most important priority–spending time with your Heavenly Father?

By Scott Walker, Macon, Georgia

As appeared in

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.

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I used to think "time for God? What about time for me?!" Then I realized that time WITH God IS time for me!