‘Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. ‘ Ephesians 5:15-16
Can we ever really manage our time? We’ve all heard it said, “Every moment is a gift” but few have learned the lesson. The more moments we waste, the more opportunities we throw away. When we ask what day it is, why are we so surprised the year is going by fast? And the older you get, the faster time seems to move.
In the Orthodox church, we view time in two ways. Chronos is the flow of time it’s where we get the term chronological. It’s ordered and straight forward. Kairos is the right or opportune time. While kairos is used more for liturgical worship and seasons of the church, it can be very effective as we go through our chronos days.
Right now is the right time.
We can make the most of our time when we realize the present moment is the only actual moment we have to connect with God. Saint Paul knew this when he said, “Pray without ceasing.” He knew we can choose to use the present moment for prayer, growth, or to show God’s love to others. Or, we can choose to remain silent, not grow, and withdraw love. Then the moment is gone before we actually think about it. Prayer is the only true way to manage our time and be able to see God in each moment, no matter what we are doing at the time.
The prayer I’m referring to is not morning and evening prayer, but constant sustained prayer of the heart. Prayer in the cracks of life. The spaces where we aren’t doing anything that requires us to think. Many of us were taught to pray in the morning and evening, but the spare moments in our day is where we can become closer to God and let him into our lives as we live them.
What Demands Your Time?
Whenever you look over your calendar for the day, week, or quarter, look it over prayerfully. Ask God to show you where you can let Him in. Ask God to show you where you are wasting time. What are you adding that needs to be taken out?
In the book Letters by a Modern Mystic (affiliate link), Frank C. Laubach writes about his year-long journey to focus on God continually. To remain in the present moment at all times. He calls it an experiment and later in the book he writes,
My Answer to my two questions to date would be:
“Can it be done all the time?” Hardly.
“Does The Effort Help?” Tremendously. Nothing I have ever found proves such a tonic to mind and body.Frank Laubach Letters by a Moder Mystic page 36
Laubach understands that we may not be able to sustain prayer and contact with God all the time, but the effort will draw us closer to him and we will grow through the effort.
- Ask God for guidance in making your schedule.
- Let him help you make a plan for extending your prayer life throughout the day.
- Start Small, Laubach had worked for a year prior to really putting the effort in and he still struggled.
- 1% Better every day.
- If you fail, start over