In our first notes of the year in my Bible classes, I told my students that I struggle with the concept of time. One thing our new teachers will struggle with, if they are like me, is time management. That's the topic of the following entry, from April 14, 2006, with the title taken from the Steve Miller Band classic, Fly Like An Eagle.
Today is Friday. Normally on Fridays, I go into our school weight room to lift at about 4:20 am. Since we had no school today due to the Easter holiday, I slept in. Armed with three extra hours of sleep, I arrived at 7:15. You might think that being rested, I would have a tremendous workout. It wasn't the case. Typically, I finish in ninety minutes. That allows me to run home, eat, take a shower, and enter my classroom at 6:30 am. Today was different. This morning, I felt no urgency. There was no place to be at any particular time. I spent over two hours lifting and accomplished less. It was easier to take an extra thirty seconds between sets. I was in no rush to put weights on or take weights off the bars. I stood around, wasting time. Usually, I end a session with a glow of euphoria. Today, I felt only disappointment in myself.
Some people have their lives organized to the minute. I do reasonably well but I'm gifted at putting things off. I need deadlines. I function better during school than vacation. This morning, I went to Hollywood Video and rented Walk The Line. Hollywood has a policy with new releases: if you return the tape/DVD within twenty-four hours, you receive a dollar refund on your next rental. I asked the cashier if Walk The Line fell into that category. Apologetically, she told me it doesn't; it's been out a little too long. I finished half the movie tonight. With that one dollar incentive, it would have been wrapped up by bedtime. Let me be blunt. On a rare day when I had some time, I accomplished little. This is my week to preach for our Chinese congregation. I had every intention of working on my sermon today but it never happened. I know my topic but the nuts and bolts won't fall into place until late Saturday. Maybe I'm not unique but I get more done when I have less time. Abundance invites waste. The important events of my life have a starting time; school begins at 7:40 am, worship service commences at 9:00 am, my basketball games tip off at 4:00 pm, and CSI comes on at 8:00 pm. My lesson plans are due online at 7:40 AM on Monday and my updated grades are posted by the same time Wednesday. When I depend on my own time frame, I get into trouble. My fear of retirement years down the road is not financial but that I might squander the one asset which draws no interest and can't be bought or sold. Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 3:11, tells us that God has set eternity in our hearts. The Lord has given me the concept of profitable time usage but slipping is so easy.
It's funny but the year in my life that I was the busiest is the year I got the most done. In 2000-2001, I coached both our Westbury Christian School middle school and high school girls' basketball teams (61 total games), wrote a book, and served as the lead teacher in our Bible department. Somehow, it fell into place. The only reason I made it through that school year was that I took more time to do something I often skimp on when time is plentiful, prayer. Maybe I need time subtracted from my twenty-four hours to make my day add up to something more profitable. It's like my approach to driving. I pay scant attention to how much gas is in the tank. I put it in $5.00 once a week. Do you know when I do pay attention? When the LOW FUEL light starts blinking, I acquire a sense of urgency, becoming responsible for the well-being of my automobile. If I let it slide, there will be a negative ripple effect on my life and those accumulative ripples will cost me even more time. Mick Jagger sang, "TIME is on my side." I wish it was on mine.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value."
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