So Much To Do, So Little Time
By Cate Russell-Cole
Many people have a great problem managing time. These days it
rarely seems a case of laziness, rather too much to be done, too
many demands and too little time. "Techno stress" and
"information fatigue syndrome" are becoming the prognosis for
some of the tensions of the nineties. Top authorities on the
"psychology of technology," Michelle Weil, and Larry Rosen,
believe that, "in the past decade we have seen technology invade
our home, our cars, our movie theatres, our grocery stores, our
jobs, literally every place in our lives. Every innovation -
from cell phones to e-mail, from faxes to websites - demands new
skills, speedier reaction times, creativity on call 24 hours a
day. Technology keeps coming at us and we are told that we must
adapt or fall behind." This is an incredible amount of pressure
to be carried by anyone.
I once heard someone preach a harrowing sermon on how God would make you account for every second wasted in your life, every moment you could have been doing something more productive. It scared me at the time, but later as my mind came back onto an even keel, I began to wonder if a giving God who gave us forests and oceans to play in would be that harsh? Psalms talks of an instance with Israel in which God, being full of compassion, "...remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that passes away and does not come again." 1 He did not execute judgment on His wayward people automatically, even though they were not perfect enough in comparison with Him.
Apart from the time we spend with our loving God and preaching the gospel, does every second have impending judgment hanging over it? Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 presents as a purpose for life, "I know there is nothing better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor - it is the gift of God... (vs 17) ...for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work." God has designated that our time should be divided between work and play, there is a balance. We quite often unwisely take on more than we should, trying to balance our own expectations of ourselves with demands from others, then also stuffing in what we perceive God expects of us. In doing this, we overload easily, losing the ability to be still and wait in a world where activity runs overtime.
In Isaiah there is a clear message regarding striving and salvation. "For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.' " 3 "Woe to those who go down to Egypt (the world) for help, and rely on horses (worldly strength), who trust in chariots because they are many (like technology has proliferated), and in horsemen because they are very strong (other people), but who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!" 4 Science tells us that it is when we are at rest that our bodies grow. Our spirits work on the same principle. Back in chapter thirty, Isaiah tells us the answer to determining what we should and shouldn't be doing come from God, He will lead us in the path He has planned for our lives if we look to Him for help and seek Him. "Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left." 5
There is comfort in the words, "Have you not known? have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength." 6 Why not trust your calendar and expectations to the One who runs the universe? If anyone should know what they are doing and what is best for His creation, it is surely Him.
1 Psalm 78:39 New King James Version
2 Matthew 6:19-21 and 33
3 Isaiah 30:15
4 Isaiah 31:1
5 Isaiah 30:21
6 Isaiah 40:28-29