“Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.”
–Leonardo Da Vinci
There’s a very common reason why we may not be spending a proper amount time with God in devotion or in having a Sabbath (see post on Sabbath). We mistakenly believe that there will be less time for us and what we need to get done. Logically, it makes sense. The more time I spend with God, the less time I’ll have to study for an exam or work on a project or put into my business or do what my boss requires. After all, time is a finite resource and we only have a limited amount of it (see post here).
This way of thinking came out quite prominently when I was working on my undergrad. I always felt like doing proper devotions (spending time with God in prayer, meditation, Scripture reading, etc.) was a hindrance to my academic progress. I felt like it slowed me down. And I didn’t want to be slowed down. Spending more time with God inevitably meant that there was less time for writing a paper that was imminently due or studying for a big exam or reading the assigned texts. And so I would often abandon time with God in favor of putting in more time in the things that I needed to get done.
This happens all the time no matter what stage of life you find yourself in. We might abandon time with God because we mistakenly believe that we’ll have less time for…
Time with the kids.
In one sense, this is true. We only have 24 hours in a day. So time spent in one area inevitably means less time that’s available for another. And our personal time with God easily gets the short end of the stick. It’s often the first to go when time is scarce. But whenever we do that, we fail to realize that time spent with God is always time well spent. In fact, it enables us to do everything else. It enables us to engage in all the other stuff with the right attitude, proper frame of mind, and appropriate motivation to do it well.
So yes, if you spend the proper amount of time with God (including having a proper Sabbath), you’ll have less time for everything else. But here’s the thing: by spending the proper amount of time with God, you’ll ensure that you maximize the time spent in every other activity because you’re doing it with the right attitude and motivation and with the presence and power of God.