Guest Post: Focus on Time


Guest Writer: Bets

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The disastrous incident at Martin Place on the 15th December 2014, was for me a shock. Naively I had felt that hostage situations with Islamic overtures occurred in other countries. The truth was shocking – such events can happen anywhere.

As the hours of the incident ticked by, I started to think about the “what ifs” – “what if I was in that cafĂ©, or a situation similar?” It is sobering enough for anyone, but it sure made me think.

In the Bible Christians are instructed: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12 v 1). So our lives are a sacrifice? What does that mean? Can it mean that I give up control of my life and live under the Lord’s direction? Can it mean that I am to be as a light shining in a dark place – even one as dark as a hostage situation?

I’m sure the answer to these questions is YES! The Lord Jesus Christ came down from His perfect, holy home, to this world filled with filth, sin and hate and shone such a light that it has not gone out – even over two thousand years later! Through much persecution, neglect and sheer ignorance, His influence can still be felt and changes lives daily.

So what does this mean to me? I’m just a 30-something year old mother with two young children living in a busy city and getting about life, right? Yes, but there are a few responsibilities we all as Christians have:

  • Romans 12 v 1 still means giving our all to Him – life, abilities, time, money – the lot.
  • We are to give ourselves cheerfully – “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”  (2 Corinthians 9 v 6-8) – and trust Him for strength and energy to go on.
  • We should give ourselves heartily – “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for [fn] you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3 v 23-2)
  • We should not be fearful of what may occur in the future – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1 v 7)
  • Remembering that most important we are the Lord’s – “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's” (Romans 14 v 8)

And all of this makes me think of something that has been concerning me of late. It is called “me-time”. Some of the shoppers in Martin Place were having some “me-time” – a break to have a hot drink and just relax. We are constantly told that we should have “me-time” (that we are owed it even) and this is also taught in Christian circles.

Is it wrong? Well, I think we should stop and look at the Lord’s life on earth. When did the Lord have time to relax and get away from it all? Many times it seems He was attempting to move away to spend time in prayer or give His disciples a rest – and the crowds followed Him for more teaching or healing! But He continually gave His life heartily and with compassion persisted in doing the work His Father had given Him.

I can think of one incident where the Lord was left, even His disciples falling asleep rather than being with Him. You recall the Garden of Gethsemane? He was alone – but we could not call this “me-time”! He was in an agony over the coming hours – for us…

So should “me-time” be a priority? Do I need time away from my responsibilities? Should I resent the time taken up in bringing up my children so I can only fall into bed exhausted? Is this not my sacrifice? My service? For Him who have His life? And even for sinners?

That is not to say one should never have time alone, or apart from life’s responsibilities to relax and recharge! But the right focus must be in place – life is not about ME and My will, but about HIM and HIS will. The Lord Jesus said I can of Myself do nothing… because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. (John 5 v 30). May we have the same enthusiasm as Paul – I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3 v 14). And remember the Lord’s promises in (Matthew 11 v 28-30): “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

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Guest Writer: Betsy (my cousin) is a young mum of two gorgeous young children which she has just started to home school. She is a busy lady as keeper of her home, a wonderful helper to her husband, but also takes care of her sister and father.

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Comments

  1. Life is very frail; it is only of the Lord's mercies that we're not consumed! And yet, despite the frailty of it, until the Lord says it is time for us to draw our last breath, in some ways we're invincible, because there are no mistakes, no deaths that HE is unaware of/doesn't allow!

    The "me-time" we see in the world around us is very self-centered, very hedonistic... NOT servant-like or sacrificial types of behaviour - and it is really sad to see so many believers getting caught up in it. We do need quiet time to spend with the Lord, time to focus on Him and relax, but I think most can get that without making the "me-time" fuss that goes on - eg. spending time in prayer, in the Word (etc) in the early hours of the morning before the children wake or at night after they are in bed.

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    1. The most concerning thing of it all is the emphasis placed on how we are "owed" me time, and this puts a lot of pressure on people, especially young mums who are already struggling, but then are made to feel that they are not getting the best deal if they don't have that "me-time"!
      love,
      Bets

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  2. I think Betsy is a very wise woman! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

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    1. Thank you Cynthia! I don't always feel wise, but I do get a "bee in my bonnet" at times, and then it helps to search out the Scriptures to see what they have to say about this issue or that.
      In Him,
      Betsy

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  3. I try not to make "me time" be all about me by seeing if I can either bless/talk with/worship the Lord or bless others. I can't say this happens all the time (thankfully God is full of grace!), but it seems the older I get, the more it has become a habit. Isn't it amazing that when we truly contemplate all the evil in the world, we start to see that it really begins with self-centeredness?!!
    http://christintheclouds.blogspot.com/
    Thanks for sharing! Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

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    1. This is exactly what I was saying Ann, the emphasis should not be just ME! Unfortunately those who do not love the Lord do not understand this, and therefore life gets very confusing and scary.
      in Him,
      Betsy

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  4. This is so true, so often we are told to look after ourselves, we have a right to do this, but Jesus gave up all His rights to save us. He gave up everything to give us everything. Thank you for sharing this great post at Good Morning Mondays, I really enjoyed it. Blessings

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    1. Thanks for your comment Terri - it is good to know I am not the only one who sees the dangers of the world's way of thinking!
      in Him,
      Betsy

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  5. I agree with you Betsy on the "me time" but will clarify a bit... I also don't agree with the "I deserve me time" mentality that you pencil in one night a week and run the town red. However, I think it important to give yourself some time each day (while children are napping or with quiet time) to rest and refresh yourself so that you can be mentally and physically strong for your family. There is a difference in this I believe...

    Thank you for sharing your encouragement with us to be a selfless woman of God.

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    1. I agree Jes, no women is a machine that can keep on going without some quiet time. I do think its important to have time for quiet reading, perhaps just sitting outside and enjoying the scenery or doing some handicrafts. None of us are made to go non-stop with out a break each day and this is very different to ME time which is the allocation of time just for me. As you say, we all need to refresh.

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    2. Yes, time out as in relaxing time is important. As I mentioned, my biggest concern is that young mums (especially) are encouraged to have this time, and for it to be away from their homes and children. But this is not always possible, or workable for every one's situation, and so this creates resentment for one's life situation, which is NOT helpful!
      in Him,
      Betsy

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    3. There is an expectation these days of “time out at the coffee shop with the girls” or “off-shopping” as part of me-time. I had very little me-time when mine were small, particular because I had no-one to babysit! However I did take them out when they were small to coffee shops and we would all enjoy a treat. And that what it should be - a treat - not an expectation e.g. once a week. I think it partly why women at home get restless when their expectations are not met.

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    4. To Jo, Betsy and Jo,

      Yes, YES and yes ;)

      And may you both have a happy and healthy and blessed new year!

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