It's been a while since my last post. The funny thing is, that leads me right into my topic.
A fairly common complaint is about not having enough time to do whatever someone says that they would like to do - be it spend time with family, work on a personal project, or in my own case, read the Bible and post on this blog. You know what the funny thing is? We all have twenty four hours in a day to spend doing things. When it comes to day-to-day activity, no one has any more time than anyone else.
What this means, of course, is that it is not a matter of having enough time to do something, but rather making the time to do it. This is harder than it sounds for some people, because we are creatures of habit - we like keeping things somewhat “normal” in our everyday life. So when we want to add something to our routine, we want to simply add it without removing anything else.
That only works for so long, until we have to stop adding things lest we crack under the stress of having too much going on.
I guess what I'm saying here is that we need to learn to prioritize, that part of time management is to choose which things to do, which not to do, and how often to do each one. What is the most beneficial - not just to my education or my career, but to life in general? What matters most to me? Money? Family? Fame? Success? (What even is success?)
Choose the top one or two, three if you're really ambitious. Then consider how you can focus your life around those priorities. What do you need to start doing? What do you need to stop doing? How can you accomplish both of those?
Please think about those questions for yourself. Really, once you figure that out life gets a lot less complicated because you have a goal in mind. Well… Maybe not less complicated. But certainly more bearable. It doesn't have to be a concrete goal, but a good idea.
For me, my two focuses (and ones I believe others should focus on) are loving God and loving others.
And one of them, an expert in religious law, asked [Jesus] a question to test him: “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:35-40 NET
Honestly, I could improve on both. But both seem so integral to living a fulfilling life. Money is nice, but as a tool for blessing others. Accumulating money for myself doesn't do anything but leave me wanting more.
How can I focus my life around these priorities?
The rest of this post is an abbreviated form of the thoughts I have had and my own answers to the questions above.
When it comes to loving God, the short answer is to obey his commands.
But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him. The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked. – 1 John 2:5-6 NET
I know that is hard though. Being able to say that I'm obeying God will take time. I can say now that I try to follow his commands, but I also fail a lot. Good thing he is willing to forgive that!
Of course, I have to know what God's commands are in order to follow them - this means reading the Bible, but more than the “Verse of the Day”. Actual studying, like I would for a class at school or for a subject I need to know for my job. And that takes time. It is more important than video games or TV though, so I will prioritize it.
As for loving others, that is more difficult. Loving someone goes past saying “I love you” or “I care about you”. It is shown in action, such as lending someone money or food for lunch when they haven't eaten, sitting next to someone and asking if they are okay and recognizing “I'm fine” and “I'm just tired” as the person trying to pass off the fact that they are depressed because a) they think you don't actually care, or b) they don't want to burden you with their problems.
These are things that can only come with practice. Especially for me, as I'm not a social person most of the time. So I must put time into that as well.
For me, this lifestyle must take place in everything I do. I like writing code - when I do so in the future, it should be with the end goal of improving someone's day or life.
I guess these song lyrics best describe it:
Love like I'm not scared Give when it's not fair Live life for another Take time for a brother Fight for the weak ones Speak out for freedom Find faith in the battle Stand tall but above it all Fix my eyes on You – From “Fix My Eyes” by for KING & COUNTRY