If all of you were sitting in front of me as a class of students and I was your teacher, I would ask you, “How many of you are frustrated by your busy schedules?” This is an educated guess, but I think the majority of you would raise your hand. My wife and I are busy with three young children and a calendar jam-packed with ministry events, but some of the retired people I know are busier than they were when they were working fifty hours a week. Most likely, there are few people we know who aren’t busy, so it’s easy to get people to empathize with us when we can’t find the time to meet with God in His Word.
We have these grand ambitions of spending good, solid blocks of time meditating on Scripture and responding in prayer, but from our perspective, it seems like we fall victim to the various interruptions in our schedules that are impossible to plan for. I understand well the dreaded arrival of the unexpected phone call or minor crisis at home, but I think we can spend more time in God’s Word if we’ll change our perspective a bit.
First, we need to stop seeing ourselves as people at the mercy of our schedules – “I’d like to spend time with God, if my schedule would only allow it.” Often, we act as if our schedules are some sovereign force that we must appease with our submission. God is the sovereign one, not our schedules. We must always seek to please him, but that is a far cry from bowing the knee to every circumstance we’re faced with. In fact, many times pleasing the Lord means not answering the phone, closing your office door, and saying “no” to someone’s request.
Second, we talk in terms of “having the time” or “finding the time”, but I think these phrases can perpetuate a passive mindset in regard to using time wisely, as if we’re saying, “If the time isn’t there, it isn’t there.” It is better to think along the lines of “making time” instead of having it or finding it. Making time means actively cutting things out of your schedule or preventing certain things from entering your schedule. Like taking your lunch to work instead of eating out to make room in the budget, making time in your schedule is an attack on your schedule instead of allowing your schedule to attack you.