Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fill your life with the right choices

Our world is obsessed with health, fitness, calories, and cutting carbs. Why else would New York City attempt to ban large-size soft drinks and Starbucks venues publish calorie counts on their menu boards?

I am all for being fit and eating healthy, but I think our culture has become so concerned about waistlines that it has overlooked the bigger, root-cause issue: time lines.

What do I mean by that? Well, a timeline is simply an order of events that define history. I’m using the word here on a smaller, more personal scale. How do we spend our time? The answer to that question will define us better than the matter of what we eat.  

In Matthew 15:10-11, Jesus told the multitude that what a person says and not what he eats pollutes (or on the flip side, refines) a person. He said, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

The choices that we make – and not just the choice of whether to have pizza or a salad for supper – matter.

Last time, we talked about the importance of redeeming time, and I want to build upon that thought by asking a simple, but challenging, question: With what do we fill our lives?

We have to be honest: Most of the time in a day does not belong to us. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most adults ages 25-54 spend 7.7 hours sleeping, 8.8 hours working, and 1.0 hours on household chores. Subtract that from 24 hours, and we’re left with 6.5 hours. From there, we have to subtract time to eat (1.1 hours), leaving us with 5.4 hours left. You will also have to calculate in family responsibilities as appropriate.

In those precious hours of “free time” left, our decisions are up to us and consequently, matter most. Do we vedge in front of a TV because we’re so exhausted from our daily regimen? Or, do we fill our time with worthwhile pursuits and acts of service that will energize us and bless those around us?

We all need to take a step back from the business of our days to honestly assess what those remaining hours in our lives look like.

The choices we make unwittingly write our personal time lines. How will you fill yours?

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