Thursday, June 25, 2015

Time and Urgency

How do we spend our lives?  How do we use the time we have each day?  Do we expend our energy for learning?  Are we aware of time that has been virtually lost?  Of most importance, do we seek God’s direction?  Do we set aside the time we should to read God’s word and pray?   

Some years ago I took a required class which had to do with time management. In this class we studied the book written by the late Stephen Covey entitled "First Things First." In the book Dr. Covey described "Urgency Addiction." He defined it as "a self-destructive behavior that temporarily fills the void created by unmet needs" (Covey, 1994, p. 35). I have considered this point from time to time as I acknowledge my own particular urgency problem. The thing that I have noticed is that my day tends to present with more difficulty when I neglect scripture reading (or listening) and prayer. And so, here is a great need I have and I recognize that it cannot be fulfilled in any other way. There is nothing and no one in the world other than God who can fill that spiritual need that provides strength for the physical as well. 

I enjoy watching a television program on TCT called "Ancient Jewish Wisdom" hosted by Rabbi Lapin and his wife. In May, the Rabbi spoke about our "model of reality." He said that "if you shape your model of reality on the Bible, you are miles ahead of others." The truth of that point is striking! It fits in perfectly as we consider the question of time management.

I like the way the Bible describes God's perception of time: "Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day" (NIV, 2 Peter 3:8). In a very interesting way I was recently reminded of that verse. I was one day standing outside of the checkout aisle at a store waiting for someone. As I waited, a man I did not know approached me and asked me if I knew the time. Reaching into my pocket I flipped open my cell phone and gave him the time. He said, "You know, those are nice. I should get one because you can make a call and read the time." He then paused and looked at me and said, "But you know, I've always found that God's time is perfect."  

What a wonderful thought! 

For those interested in reading some of Rabbi Lapin's commentaries and books, please visit his website:

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Recently I heard a man on the radio talking about military type of strategies, one of which he listed as perhaps the most important: He defined this plan of action as "knowing your enemy." Personally I have never served in the military, but I can grasp the concept of how important it is for military personnel to be fully equipped with knowledge of how the enemy performs and what their tactics are. I began to think about this and, for me, it calls to mind the many references in scripture regarding the strength, protection and power of God's word. Obviously, Satan stands as our adversary, the enemy, the destroyer. Jesus referred to him as "the prince of this world" (John 14:30). That is a shocking thought on one hand, and yet we do see it that way more and more. My greatest concern in this is that so many people in this world do not, by any means, "know the enemy."

"The mind is the battlefield" a pastor once said to our congregation some years ago. Satan tries to influence our thinking at times with unrelenting efforts if we do not respond with a strong defensive effort of our own. We need to know scripture, because as described in the Book of Ephesians, God's word is ". . . the sword of the Spirit." In that same verse we are told to wear "the helmet of salvation." God will protect, dear one, we are in His care. I just worry that we place ourselves at a disadvantage when we allow too much of the world into our lives. It always seems to coincide with reading less scripture and praying less, if at all.

For those of the world who do not know the saving power of Christ, it would be very hard for them, if not impossible, to know the enemy. And so, they may think they are doing okay or their lives are literally being torn to shreds. In both cases they are souls who are suffering, both from a lack of understanding, because the world so often resists understanding and would rather embrace a lie. They suffer because they embrace the lie and the deception continues to corrupt. They suffer because they do not know the enemy.

Beloved, God would not have any of us suffer! The cross itself is there to remind us of what Jesus took on for all of us.

"The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10, American King James Version).