Time management isn’t the problem. Value management is the problem. We do what we value.
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I’m on deadline this week, so I’m going to share a previous message from 2020. Hope you enjoy it.
In 2010, my life looked completely different than it does just ten years later.
I lived in a different house.
I had a Blackberry.
My beloved cat of 20 years, Midnight, passed away that year.
I was in a different church.
I was covering Minor League Baseball and was at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha when the final game was played.
I was focused on securing traditional book publishing deals rather than releasing books myself.
I had a different car.
I hadn’t yet met some very dear friends who are now part of my beloved Friday lunch group.
The thought of drinking decaffeinated coffee wasn’t on my radar.
Most of my friends still had two living parents.
And there are probably a dozen or more other differences between 2010 and today. If I stepped back twenty years, the list would double.
Life changes drastically over time. As someone who isn’t particularly fond of change, I’m glad I don’t know what my life might look like in 2030. I would sort of like a peek at tomorrow, but even if I got, it might be too much to bear.
I’m thinking about all of this in light of what James 4:13-15 (ESV) says:
”Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”
We don’t know what tomorrow may bring. We’re designed to live in the moment — to deliberately seize this particular second. It’s a gift from the Father. And if the Lord wills, so is your next second.
For me, that puts matters into perspective. The way I spend my moments is a reflection of what (and who) I value.
Time management isn’t the problem. Value management is the problem. We do what we value, and often, we value the wrong things, or at the very least, lesser things.
I’ve been around long enough to not even try to define lesser things. If I did try, you might take exception with one of them. But I have a feeling that as soon as you read that phrase, you already identified a few of them in your own life.
Part of slowing down and living deeper is recalibrating from time to time. And the best way to do that is to follow Jesus’ example when He felt the weight of His ministry. Luke 5:16 says, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Here are some tidbits you might find interesting this week:
The Hon Rain Forest in Olympic National Park is believed to be one of the quietest places on earth.
Rail Explorers looks like it would be a blast. You ride the rails in various parts of the U.S. via pedal power.
When journalist Bill McKibben was asked to describe his ideal or actual reading room, he said this: “I like to read on the screened porch, with a breeze blowing and the deer and moose wandering through the meadow. If it rains, that’s good too. The only problem is I also like to nap.”
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” -Martin Luther
I’ve mentioned these little field notebooks before, but in case you missed it, check them out if notebooks are your thing.
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P.S. Subscribers, the August long-form essay is now available. It’s about my love affair with reading.