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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Time Well Spent

by Tammy Darling

Wish you could manage your time better? You can. The best way to start is to get on your knees.

According to Nielsen Media Research, the way we spend our time reveals our priorities. Homework, extracurricular activities, hanging out with friends, MySpace, Facebook, and video gaming—the list could go on and on—can  easily distract us from an extremely important priority: a relationship with God.
Reality is, when we allow everything else in our life to diminish our time with God, our strength and power for living diminishes too. Before long we feel exhausted, stressed-out, and overcommitted.
Using our time wisely actually includes a Sabbath rest (Exodus 20:8-11). To most, that may seem like a waste of time. But God created a day of rest for a reason, and it wasn’t because He needed it. We need it! With all that’s going on at school, at church, and at home, it can be easy to forget that “there is a time for everything” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV).* Be sure to spend time with God on the seventh day, the Sabbath.
Someone once said that while we can’t squeeze more hours into a day, we can squeeze more meaning into the hours. Actually, few of us ever accomplish everything in a day that we would like to. The key to spending time wisely is learning to discern between what good things to spend time doing and the best things to spend time doing. If we’re honest, often the good things we focus on doing crowd out the best things God has in mind for us to do.
Here’s the challenge: because no two people have the same schedules, take your schedule to God and ask Him to give you the wisdom you need to manage your time better. When you’re serious about going over your schedule with  Him, He’ll point out to you the wasters of time in your life, while showing you ways to manage your time more effectively.
While you and God are working out your best schedule, here are some ways to wisely guard your time:
Learn to say no. Maybe you’ve found that as time goes by, more and more is expected of you. It’s time to prioritize. Get into the habit of giving up good things in order to make time for the best things. As you do, it’ll be easier to say no to unnecessary requests on your time.
Set a predetermined time limit on your use of technology. If you don’t control technology, it’ll control you. Computers, TV, video games, cell phones, etc., all have roles to play in our lives, but they can easily become huge wasters of time too. Decide how much time you’ll allow yourself to use these gadgets on a daily or a weekly basis. Then stick to it.
Simplify your life. Everything you own ultimately owns you. Perhaps you’ve figured out that having a lot of stuff can be more of a pain than you thought. Think about your stuff—what can you get rid of that’ll actually free up  some time in your schedule? Then unload it. Less really is more.
Get organized. When you know where everything is, you’ll spend less time looking for it. A wise person once said that more time is wasted, not in hours, but in minutes, and that a bucket with a small hole in the bottom gets just as empty as a bucket that’s deliberately emptied.
Slow down and rest. Life has a speed limit, and you need to observe it. God actually commands you to take a break for 24 hours every week (Exodus 20:8-11), a Sabbath rest. And He reminds us in Psalm 46:10 that to get to know Him, we must be still.
Stay focused. When you have no real vision, you can tend to wander through life without a sense of purpose, and it’s easy to become distracted by anything. Create a vision for your life. Start by evaluating your life according to your values. Ask yourself, Am I on the right road to get where I want to go? What do I want to be remembered for? Begin living with eternity in sight.
Serve others. Using your time wisely isn’t just about you. It’s about making time to serve others and investing your time in doing God’s work. After all, your time isn’t really your own—it all belongs to God anyway. Ask Him how much of it He’d like you to spend serving others?
When it comes to time management, the best thing you can do for God and for yourself is to get on your knees. Asking Him to help you accomplish what will really count for His kingdom and for your life’s purpose is time well spent.
*Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright  1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Tammy Darling writes from Three Springs, Pennsylvania. 

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