What do you value?
Have you ever completed a “time inventory?” Most of us have taken inventory of where we spend our money by glancing back at credit card statements or perhaps budgeting. Fewer of us have done the same with our time.
I was tasked in grad school to inventory what I did every minute of the day for a week. Then using that data, to reflect how I spent my time and if it matched my values.
If I were to share my top values I’d say family, relationships, faith, healthy lifestyle, Yet, I bet if I were to do a time inventory today, I’d be shocked how often what I truly value is put on the back burner… Also, are my top values the same as God’s?
Side Note: I’m laughing to myself as I am writing this early yesterday morning… my toddler just woke up, found me and wanted to snuggle. My first reaction, to say no and put my time and energy towards this post. I was quickly convicted. Do I care more about this post than connecting with my kiddo? Absolutely not! Yet I bet a hundred times a day I put my energy and time towards that which I don’t value over that which I do.
So what causes us to do this? Why do we put our energy and time towards that which we don’t value? I’d put money on most of this behavior is at its core driven by fear and scarcity. Fear. It is a sneaky, nasty, liar.
And Fear is robbing us of what God has for us. “I came so they may have life, and life abundant.” God declares in John 10:10. God did not come to watch our steps be guided by fear, our time and money controlled by fear, and our relationships distorted by fear.
I have been thinking about fear a lot lately, noticing it in my life and the lives of those around me. It is heartbreaking. It is robbing myself and others from experiencing the joy, peace, love, guidance that God offers. I can’t imagine how sad it is to be God and watch us time and time and time again make decisions out of fear and out of scarcity.
I do it all the time.
Very often this fear is disguised as pursing “security.” Yet security is a myth. It is not a destination we can ever find. It is an illusion. We never know what will happen tomorrow to our health, our finances, our world or to the ones we love.
We can (and often do) spend our money, time, energy pursuing this illusion. But perhaps there is another way to live.
So does this mean I do nothing but spend time with family, friends, Jesus and pursue health? Absolutely not, but there is a huge difference in me working frantically out of fear of not having enough money, needing to save because who knows what will happen to the economy, feeling like people “need me” and I’m letting them down and failing by not seeing more clients, etc. Woven into each of those motivations is fear. There are other days (when I may not want to work) but I’m motivated to move forward, pursue more clients out of a sense of peace, trust and obedience. It is a completely different experience.
What about you?
· If you were to do a time inventory, would how you spend your time and your values align?
· What role does fear play in your life?
· How often are you motivated towards work because of fear?
· How often do you actually give your kiddos your full attention and presence vs. being around them but spending your time and energy moving them from dinner to bed to clean up their stuff etc..?
· How often do you spend time and energy enjoying your partner vs. discussing, cleaning, doing tasks, parenting, etc.?
· How much time and energy do you spend in your faith? Practicing listening? Soaking? Healing? Hearing? Worshiping?
· What truly motivates your decisions?
If our how we spend our time and energy doesn’t reflect our values, then what are we doing?
If we are allowing fear to drive our decisions, rule our finances, and infiltrate our relationships, what abundant life are we missing?