Time, Productivity, And Purpose

No man has a right to be idle. . . .  Where is it that in such a world as this, health, and leisure, and affluence may not find some ignorance to instruct, some wrong to redress, some want to supply, some misery to alleviate?

William Wilberforce

Guess what?  You were not created to simply get your to-do list done!  And…. if you are a Christian, you were created and you were redeemed for something far more than more productivity. In a world that is driven to continually increase productivity, the above sentence can sound like words of insanity. But, when will we be satisfied with our level of productivity? Has greater productivity satisfied any of us? I say no. Actually the greater the productivity, the greater the push to be more productive. When do we go home satisfied? At what point do we get off the mouse wheel and realize greater productivity is the very next desire that follows immediately after greater productivity?

Don’t misunderstand, this is not a post demonizing greater productivity!

For the glory of God I desire to be productive! I have enjoyed and benefited from Peter Drucker and I have been greatly helped by Getting things Done by David Allen.

In 1930 economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that new technology would cause work to be more efficient and thus we will need to work less.  He predicted that his grandkids would work a 15 work week.  

Nearly 90 years later….a 15 work week is as accessible as Pluto.

It is true technology has made us much more efficient, and at the same time technology has made more inefficient!  We don’t know how to handle all this technology. What was once a tool to free us up has produced the opposite. Now, we are slaves to our technology and devices more than we imagined or care to admit.

I am a fan of technology and I am always striving for greater productivity.  But, what if greater productivity (which is a good thing) misses the mark by just a bit?

What if the goal shifted from Greater Productivity to Greater Purpose?  What if we considered “more” than just getting more things done, and consider getting the right things done?

We all know time moves so incredibly fast. We were all told to enjoy those early moments of your child’s life because, so quickly they are grown and on their own. Once dependent on you, now you seemingly live for that phone call, that brief chat that sets you over the top.

Time, once used, can not be returned. Once it is gone, it’s gone. 24 hours yesterday…. 24 hours tomorrow. You and I get the same amount of time as the next guy. I find it immensely helpful to read scripture that speaks of time as something that can be redeemed. “Redeemed time”. Wow, that is a wonderfully beautiful thought!

Listen in on the apostle Paul to the Ephesians:

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5: 15 – 17

You were created for purpose – His Purpose.  He is LORD! He redeemed us by His blood, we belong to Him. Therefore, the Lord has given us time that we “get” to steward. We seek to do so for His glory, for He is God!  

Read: I’m Busy!

You were created (By God) and you were redeemed (By the Lord) on purpose, for a purpose. So Paul tells us to “look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time…. understanding what the will of the Lord is.”  ESV

Or as KJV puts it: “redeeming the time…” I like both of these translations. They speak of time as something that needs to be stewarded, used, redeemed for the best use…  And, it is here that we start to consider our time and purpose. I am aware that each day provides a 1,000 potentially wasted moments. These words from Paul help me to consider my best use of time.

God who gave us life and breath, redeemed us from the pit, and gave us new life that we might not only be more productive, but that we might be more purposeful.

So, let’s ask ourselves as moms, dads, husbands, wives, teachers, engineers, retired, homemakers, educators, pastors, church members, Christians, teenagers, etc…  What is purpose that God has called me to?

We are all busy….. but let’s ask:

Am I busy doing what matters?

Or, Am I busy doing the right things?

These are questions of purpose.

That is all the time I’ve got for today……  More to come….  if you find the “Gospel Connections” Blog helpful you can subscribe top – left of this page.  Thanks for taking the time to read!

 

 

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