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Are you good at setting goals? How about reaching them? I am usually a very goal-oriented person, so I tend to stay on track in this area. But in the past year, I found myself looking at the piles of things I needed and wanted to do and became so double-minded about what to do first. I often ended up doing nothing, or little bits and pieces of several things, none of which I finished.
I’d start my day with a plan and then get to the end of it feeling frustrated and even a bit angry with myself. It was so frustrating! I felt like life was ordering me around rather than me ordering my life, and I knew something was wrong.
As I prayed about it, God began showing me the importance of living life on purpose—something I’d done for most of my life but had gotten off track. I started listening to people around me and learned that a large percentage of us live day in and day out without accomplishing much of what we truly intended to. We’re busy, just not with the right stuff.
How about you? Are you steadily becoming the person you want to be? Are you accomplishing the things you want to accomplish in life? Are you an “on-purpose” person, or are you mostly waiting to see where life takes you?
Life goes by so fast. If you’re old enough to remember the good ole days when life was slower, you can sit and reminisce about it—but it won’t bring those times back. What we must do now is learn to manage our time well so that we get the most from it that we possibly can.
Ephesians 5:15-17 pretty much says it all and it is one of my favorite passages of Scripture:
Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:15-17 teaches us:
Each day God gives us is a present, and that is why it is called the “present.” We need to unwrap the gift carefully, cherish it, use it fully and wisely, investing it in something that we will be proud of later in life.
To be an “on-purpose” person, I am training myself to go through a thinking process each day so that I can channel my time into things that will bear good fruit. I start my day talking with God—asking for His help and guidance in all I do, submitting the day to Him, and spending time in His Word.
The only way to get your day started right is to start with God.
David said in Psalm 5:3, In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].
When we go to God first, before rushing into the “doing” part of our day, it is like saying, Apart from You I can do nothing (see John 15:5).
Secondly, take some time to plan your day. Look at the week, the month and the year ahead, and consider what you’d like to accomplish, where you need to be and what you have to do to get there.
Every moment of our lives does not have to be regimented and fit into a plan, but we will enjoy our life more if we know that our time is spent on things with purpose and meaning.
The truth is, “life” doesn’t just turn out to be one way or another without any input from us. God has made His Word available to us, to help us make choices that will produce a life we can be proud of and enjoy.
It’s so important to really know where your times goes. Slow down long enough to inventory what you are doing, and make sure it is what you really want to do.
For more on this topic, order Joyce’s book Seize the Day. You can also contact us here to receive our free magazine, Enjoying Everyday Life, or by calling (800) 727-9673.