I’m writing this article so I don’t have to do Greek homework. The worst part is I know I’m procrastinating. Actually, that’s not the worst part… I have put my Greek homework off for the whole week. Now that I have that confessions off my chest, we can talk.
Since my undergrad, I have always started off my semesters strong. I make lists, charts, calendars, and pretty much anything that will help me stay on track. It goes well. I get most of my work done. I start with the little stuff. You know, that old trick, to fool yourself into thinking you’re working really hard. That lasts for about two weeks…if I’m lucky.
It never failed. I started strong, and ended miserable. Fast forward to seminary. My first semester was going to be different. I was going to stay on top of all the readings. I had a calendar all planned out. I had my wife as backup in case I needed some more help. I was set. You know where this is going. I lasted a little bit longer, but it was pretty much the same as my undergrad. I have always been bad at time management.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Once I sit down to start working, I think of everything that needs to be done. “Oh shoot, I really need to dust that picture frame.” It gets so bad that I find myself cleaning just to get out of homework…I know. With my wife’s regular cleaning and my procrastination cleaning, our house is usually spotless. People always come over and say, “Wow, you guys really keep this house clean. Where do you get the time?” I just smile and nod.
All that being said, I have had some victory in the area. It hasn’t come through buying desk calendars (I’m finding it hilarious that I keep spelling calendars wrong. Thanks spell check!), or with some new app, It has come through spending more time in the Word. If you already knew this, thanks for filling me in. Actually, that’s not fair. I have probably heard a hundred sermons on the importance of time.
I find His Word focusing me. My days become more focused on His kingdom and less on my worries. I find it hard to worry about finding motivation to finish a paper when my mind is wrapped up in eternity. Eternity gives me a new outlook on my time. Do I still procrastinate? Of course. Just re-read the first sentence.
I know it’s usually customary to write on a topic that you have some insight on, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m right there with you. Some of the greatest healing, for me, have come when I sit with others and confess our weaknesses. For some of us, time management is something we have to conquer. Our brains are bent to never want to accomplish the task before us. I find it really odd. For example, I loved reading before I came to seminary, but now I have lost most of that passion. I didn’t lose the passion because they are different books, but because my heart sees it as an obligation.
Our crooked bent natures are ever present. Rebellion courses through our heart. Our flesh is always seeking its own. I often laugh when coming to this realization. Once someone tells me what I need to do, my heart gives a stern disagreement. It could be any task.
“Hey Tim, finish this candy bar.”
“Don’t tell me what to do.”
That was a terrible example, but you get the idea. In order to get victory over time management, we have to clearly define the source. Our hearts don’t want to be productive. Only by the grace and strength of the Holy Spirit will we ever see victory over this area.
I think we need to see our lack of time management skills as active rebellion against God. It’s not simple laziness. It is going against God. I know it sounds harsh, but He has told us to make the best use of our time (Eph 5:6). So in order to grow in that area, we need His Word poured over our days. I think the one of the greatest tricks of the devil is when he convinces us something is less important than it really is. He knows our time is valuable. Do we?
Timothy Sudolcan currently lives in Fort Worth, TX with his wife Melissa. He is working on his M.Div. at Southwestern Seminary. After Seminary, he plans on pursuing a ministry position while also writing fiction books. Be sure to check out his blog at Onaclodus, and follow his adventure.