Thursday, November 17, 2011

Observations from the Trenches of Failure


The trench of failure in which I am writing from is TIME WASTING. As with all sin, the truth about time wasting is that it seems sweet in the moment, becomes addictive (until a little wasted time spirals into a lot of wasted time), and always ends bitterly. At the end of a wasted hour, or afternoon, or day, I feel guilty and unsatisfied. As we covered yesterday, this is because I will only feel fulfilled as I live a life productive in honoring the Lord.

So what is to be done? I am tired of this vicious cycle, and I want to get out of it. Here are a few things I've observed:

1. Starting the day right makes a difference. If the first thing I run to in the morning is my Bible, and not the internet, a big battle has already been won. If I start the day with entertainment, I'll increase my appetite for more and the downward spiral begins again. But if I put first things first, then I am encouraged in my desires to be productive and redeem the time. If I am renewing my mind first thing in the Word, then I am setting it with Christ where it ought to be.

2. I need to plan how I am going to avoid time wasting. For example, I know that when I sit down to feed S, if I pick up the iPod, a little internet or a little video will turn into a lot of internet and maybe a movie. Not where I need to go! To avoid this, I will leave the iPod far away from the couch where I won't be able to reach it when I'm attached to the pump :). Next to me on the couch will be my Bible, Scripture memory cards, and a few carefully selected books I am reading. Wow, there you have it- another huge battle won! Instead of spending an hour frivolously on entertainment, it's been spent on renewing my mind and being productive.

3. Ending the day right also makes a big difference. If I end the day with a clean kitchen, when I walk into it in the morning I feel refreshed and ready to seek the Lord. If I walk into a dirty one, I am instantly discouraged, think "What's the point anyway?" and schlump over to the couch iPod in hand to escape my overwhelming abyss. Dramatic, I know, but when you are sleep deprived, isn't that how oppressive messes feel???

4. And finally, contrary to wasting time, spending your time wisely (as with any righteous thing) does pay off and brings joy. At the end of the day I may feel tired, but my kitchen is clean, I've read and studied good things instead of filling my mind with the world, and I can rest satisfied. Making wise decisions, like starting and ending your day right, can start a positive cycle of good decisions. And that is where I want to be!

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