Some of the most popular movies of all time are about time machines and time travel. Humanity is fascinated with traveling to the future. It would be great to go back in time to repeat our past – hopefully without making the same mistakes. Of course, that is impossible. Meanwhile, “time management” is a hot topic for leadership and management. At the ILI training, we call it “Stewardship of Time.”

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Three Inescapable Truths

  1. Time is the passing of life. You doubt me? Then try to remember what you did between 10 and 11 am yesterday. Could you go back and have a “do-over” of that time? Absolutely not! That time is gone forever. No flux capacitor (for fans of Back to the Future) can take you back.

  2. Time is the most valuable resource. It can’t be saved, stored, bought, or sold. Time is actually priceless.

  3. It is the same for everyone. Unless you live on Mars, where a day has 25 hours, you and I have the same 24 hours every day, as do the richest and poorest people on earth.

Jesus and “Time Management”

Let me suggest we look at Jesus and how He “managed” His time. These principles can help us have a more productive leadership and do more with the time we have.

  1. Jesus knew His time was limited. He told His disciples, “as long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4). No matter how young or old we are, our time is limited, so let’s make every minute count.

  2. Jesus never lost sight of His vision. His ultimate goal was to go to Jerusalem and die for our sins. The three years of His ministry were preparation for that. When He was about to be arrested, He prayed these words, “I have brought You glory on earth by finishing the work You gave Me to do” (John 17:4).

  3. Jesus never allowed success and popularity to distract Him from His priority. Even when Jesus’ popularity grew and crowds of people came to hear Him and see His miracles, Jesus “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:15-16).

  4. Jesus knew there was a right time for everything. When they tried to make Him king, (John 6:15) Jesus retreated. Yet, when the time was right, He entered Jerusalem in glory (like a king).

Time Management: An Impossible Concept

The idea that we can somehow manage time is impossible. Time passes by, independent of how disorganized or disciplined we are. On the other hand, what we can and should manage are our priorities. Like Jesus, we can understand our time and seize it, making the best of every moment that zooms by to work for His glory and seek His face.

So, how do you manage your priorities within the time that you have?