Why have a schedule? First there’s your purpose—God’s purpose. I love the impassioned words of the apostle Paul. When he spoke of God, he added these words—”to whom I belong and whom I serve” (Acts 27:23). To whom do you belong, and who is it you are serving today? A schedule helps you live out your purpose of serving God and of fulﬁlling His purpose for your life… and your day.
Next there’s your manner. A schedule helps to bring more discipline into your life, which better enables you to walk in the Spirit and produce spiritual fruit. When there’s no schedule and no plan, stress, frustration, and even rage can characterize the gift of 1,440 sparkling minutes God gives to you each day.
Here is a step by step guide to creating a schedule that will help you manage your days:
Step 1—Ask this question ﬁrst thing each and every day: What is “the one thing,” the most important thing, the central focus, the most brilliant “flower” of my day? Once answered, create and build your day around it. For me, the definitive bloom is God. My spiritual life is the one thing that makes all the difference in my day. Without setting aside time to cultivate and nurture the all-encompassing priority of your relationship with God, there will be no bold life lived for God.
Step 2—Next ask, Who are the people in my life? When it comes to your schedule, schedule family ﬁrst… then other people. How can you serve them and tend to them? What will you do for them? And when will you do it? Write your plans down and place them into speciﬁc time slots on your daily schedule.
Step 3—Take into account the future. Look ahead and plan for the tasks that you know are up-coming and the preparation that they require. Also, prepare for the unexpected. It seems contrary to say that, but we likely all know by now to expect the unexpected. I confess that here’s where I fail regularly. But, I’ve learned to leave margin in my days, weeks, and months to make adjustments to the Plan B’s that God allows in our lives.
None of this is possible in our culture unless we learn to eliminate. We must ask: What can be eliminated from my life at this time that is not a priority? As Solomon observed in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, life has its seasons. The point is, priorities change. So today, in whatever your situation and season, eliminate those things that don’t contribute positively and constructively to God’s plan and priorities.
Our job is to be ready, prepared, and even eagerly awaiting each day with our Lord, with our loved ones, and with those He bring into our lives. Don’t miss the opportunity (and yes, peace) that a few moment of scheduling can bring into your life!
A Prayer to Pray:
God, what needs to go? What priority am I neglecting? Guide me as I live this day and love those who are walking aside me.
For additional practical help, read Small Changes for a Better Life by Elizabeth George.