(written 10/2009)

Time wasters…

I am just returning from a vacation spent in the Ozark Mountains and I am refreshed with a new outlook on life. One of the things I did on this trip was to “fast” from my cell phone, the internet and computer and a lot of television. This was an amazing time spent with my wife and Christ.

It is amazing what you see and hear when you are not being distracted by technology and thoughts running through your head from these “time wasters.” I learned a lot over 8 days by just “existing.” What I mean by this is that I was physically and emotionally available to my wife and to Christ. Now let me share that I really believe that Susan and I have a great marriage and as much as we both try to be fully available to each other it does not always happen. Work, family, friends, technology and other things are part of our lives and each one wants a part of us; so it can be tricky at times being fully available to each other. But I also believe all great marriages can always be greater!

The same goes for my relationship with Christ, except at times that seems like it is great and other times it is good and sometimes just plain falls short! Again, the same things that are in my life in my marriage also affect my relationship with Christ and this is an area that I know can always be growing and better.

We managed to see a few shows in Branson and take in the outlet malls and do a lot of driving in the mountains looking at fall colors and enjoying each others company. We were with each other every day 24 hours a day for eight days and I am already missing her today! Anyways, this is not about my bride or our marriage….

Many different times God “spoke” to me on this trip (no it was not an audible voice) but it was through sights, sounds and people. I had quite a few “Oh!” moments, times when I realized that although I cannot see what lies ahead of me, God does and I need to trust in Him fully and not give up on the ideas and plans that He has given me.

This leads me to “time wasters.” These are the things that I realized I have been allowing to take, steal and borrow time from the goals and tasks that God has set for me to do. I am only going to share one of my time wasters that God has made very clear to me and that is how I use internet. Now I use the internet to read and send emails, keep current on marriage resources, taking a class, do some bible study and other ministry related items. But I also use the internet to play games, search for random “possible” vacations, blog, use applications like Shout Life and Facebook and the list goes on. Now what I have realized is that doing much of this is not a problem, EXCEPT when I am reading and suddenly tell myself I need a break. That break never involves me getting up and leaving the computer it involves me checking out other sites such as facebook and before I know it 15, 25, 30 minutes have ticked away and then I look up and it has been 1 hour! I cannot retrieve this time lost! Now I am behind on my to do list, reading, etc. All because I needed a “break!”

Now “time wasters” can come in many forms, see if you might have some of these:

Watching TV, talking on cell phone (just because you have unlimited minutes), texting, facebook, myspace and the list really could go on. Take some time right now and ask God to show you your time wasters, yes I know you are saying but I know what they are. Fine, still ask God where you are wasting time and once shown these areas ask Him what to do with them – be ready for adjustments! But I promise they will be worth it!