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Wasting Time When We Can Have So Much More

I woke up at 10. It’s now 1, and yet I have very little to show for my morning. I have an enormous amount on my to-do list, and more on my goals list, and yet I keep wasting time.

Recently, I read an article on the nightly routines of famous, successful women. They varied, but what-do-you-know…they were all filled with intentionality.

I realized that despite my massive goals of being electronic-free before bed, reading my Bible every night, journaling for myself, writing for others, praying, and maybe even sitting in a candle-lit bath while listening to Fleet Foxes, I was doing none of it.

I had been wise enough to come up with an awesome nightly routine and yet I had spent zero of my will power in making sure it happened.

I imagine so many of us are wasting time on Facebook every morning only to notice time flying by (or worse- notice that time has flown by in seemingly no time at all!)

Why is it so hard to actually have time for everything we want to do?

What would it look like to channel the discipline of self-control into how we spend our time? True, we usually associate the idea of self control with partying and sex, but our time is a very valuable aspect of our lives that does benefit from intentionality.

Avoiding temptation shows tremendous self control. We can rejoice when our time isn’t poorly-spent… but my question is- was our time well-spent?

Are we spending our time on things that give us life? Are we participating in activities we know give us peace and joy? And if not, how can we use our self-control to change the course of our lives?

Being on Facebook, watching tv, playing video games- these things are not bad in essence. Sometimes, they are exactly what we need to relax. But, often we use them as fillers because they are easy, familiar, and enjoyable. We go through our days lacking the intentionality to go after the things that make our lives greater.

“Good is the enemy of great…And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that become great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in a large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” -James C. Collins

I don’t want this quote ^ to be the mantra of our lives. I don’t want us to float by- settling for the good. I want us to be intentional about rejecting good in order to chase after great.

So, in being intentional, we are defying the concept of ‘good enough.’ We are refusing to be spectators of our own lives. We are deciding to do the things that bring us life…which may mean putting aside the ‘good’ in exchange for the ‘great.’

For me, this looks like using my self-control to pick up my Bible in the morning instead of my phone. It looks like picking movies that add to our lives instead of take away from them. Perhaps it even looks like exchanging the quick shower for the calming bath (while listening to Fleet Foxes).

We have the self-control to choose how our lives go. Here’s an idea for you. After I set down this laptop, I am going to make 3 lists. -1 list of the activities that give me life -1 list of the activities I need to do in the day (example: work) -1 list of the activities I am going to cut down on in order to give myself more time.

I’m going to hang these three lists up on my fridge as a reminder to be intentional with my time every day. There are some activities that I need to do. But I think I will be amazed at how much time I have when I ditch the activities that are neither necessary nor life-giving.

This process of avoiding the good in order to reach after the great may take more self-control than we expect… but these great lives are the lives worth reaching for.

“We are far too easily pleased” – C.S Lewis


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