“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.”
A coaching client and now friend of mine recently posted the following J.R.R. Tolkien quote on Facebook: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” Clicking “like,” I was about to continue to scroll through my feed, but before I swiped up, I found myself stopping to further consider the quote. I had to smile to myself when I thought about how a quote that seemed so simple at first, became far more complex with additional consideration.
Maybe like me, you are a few years (okay, maybe more than a few) past your early twenties and you have come to find out that you do not have life completely figured out like you once thought you did.
As I look back on my own journey, I realize I was under the impression that by age 22 we were all supposed to figure out God’s purposes for our lives and then essentially set autopilot and cruise through life living out that purpose. What I failed to realize; however, is that quite simply, for most of us, that is not how it works! Life happens and discovering and living out God’s plans and purposes for our lives, truly living and leading with passion and purpose, is a dynamic and ongoing process. It is a journey of faith.
The problem for many of us though is the sheer number of choices we have as to how we will spend the time given to us. For my U.S. friends specifically, we are blessed to largely have the freedom to choose where to spend our time and how to live our lives – while this is a good problem to have, for many of us, it is still a problem.
Like trying to decide on the perfect shade of paint for your living room, many of us stand before life like we are standing before the overwhelming wall of paint samples at the local home improvement store. Dumbfounded by the sheer number of options available, we randomly grab something that looks like a fit and then hope it will be good enough.
Similarly, many of us wander through life, less than intentional about how we are spending our time. Viewing time to think, reflect, pray and prioritize as a luxury and not a necessity, we fail to take the time needed to consider how we want to live this one life we have been given, to take the time to ask God how He wants us to spend the time He has given us.
Life, my friend is too short to waste the brief time we are given. Be intentional, take time to think. Ask yourself and ask God:
- Where can I make my highest contribution?
- How can I best spend this one life I have been given?
- Where am I currently investing my time and energy?
- Do I need greater focus?
- Are there things I need to say “no” to in order to give my very best?
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Life is short. Take the time needed to intentionally decide what to do with the time that is given to you.