Jean-Claude Killy was the world-famous Olympic skier in the 1970s.
Because he was three-tenths of a second faster than his closest competitor, he earned $3 million instead of having to settle for being a $10,000-a-year ski instructor. Time can make that much of a difference.
If you could start life all over again, how would you invest your time differently?
A survey asked one question of people more than 95 years old. It was an open-ended question that they could answer any way they wished. No religion connected with it, no anticipated response - just answer the question.
Among all of the different answers given, these three answers came back most frequently:
1. I would reflect more (one of the most popular answers).
2. I would risk more.
3. I would do more things that would live on after I'm dead.
As I looked through what the Bible says about how we are to use our time I discovered that Jesus lived an incredibly active life, He had many opportunities that He turned down so that He could finish the most important things.
It's encouraging to know that Jesus experienced the struggle to a hurried life that you and I face. But I discovered three keys to Jesus' life that gave Him direction in how He used His time:
Jesus lived by a clearly defined PURPOSE. Jesus said in the book of John, "You will realize that I am he and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak what the Father taught me …. For I always do those things that are pleasing to him."
Jesus began His ministry with a clear view of why He was on Earth. Not only did He know generally that He purposed to please His Father, but He knew specifically that His Father's purpose for Him was to take the penalty of sin on Himself.
When you wake up in the morning do you have the confidence that you are living according to your design? You get that from your Designer, not just by personality profiles or "self-discovery."
Jesus lived by a Carefully Planned Calendar. Psalm 139:16: "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
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God has a plan for you that you can know, and that will make your life make a difference. Jesus determined His daily routine by how it would please God, rather than convenience or comfort alone.
How much of my life do I spend looking for ways to make my life happier or more comfortable. I have discovered that the more I give up that pursuit, the happier I am!
Jesus had carefully chosen ROLES and GOALS to accomplish in His life. Luke 19:10" "And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost."
Jesus' clearly laid-out roles and goals gave Him the boldness to be different, to go against the crowd. Jesus cleared His life of many of the roles we play to focus on a very few roles - Jesus came to seek out lost people. He did that in His life and teaching and Jesus came to save those lost people.
Have you ever struggled to say no when someone asks you to do something you know you don't have time to do? A clear focus gives you the confidence to say "yes" to the best opportunities and "no" to the rest.
I have seven primary roles God has given me as a Child of God, Husband, Father, Pastor, Friend, Student, and Witness of God's power in me to others. Knowing those roles helps me live with purpose and focus and to live out my passion without getting lost in a busy schedule.
When I was a teenager, I looked at most adults with pity because they didn't have any passion or direction in life.
As an adult I understand how we can loose ourselves in busy schedules, but I refuse to let a busy life get me off track of the most important things.
Will you join me?
The Rev. Tim Weidlich is pastor of Grace Bible Church in Laurel.