time management, unemployment, and God

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Category : God, R3, faith, living a life of faith, taking action

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The irony of unemployment is that I haven’t been this busy since I was in college.

A few months ago I wrote an article about 5 things to do while unemployed.  One of the things to do while unemployed was volunteering.  Now I’m not one to simply write about what you should do and not live out that principle.  In fact, the whole point of R3 is to learn what it means to live out a life of faith.  That’s why I find R3 to both be incredibly fulfilling and challenging all at the same time.  While I’m not perfect I find writing publicly what I believe really forces me to follow through with my actions.

And volunteering is one area I’ve thrown myself into full force.

The challenge I’m facing right now is time management.  The stuff I do involving R3 takes up quite a bit of time.  There are the three weekly updates.  I am also working on the finishing touches to R3’s first community guide.  Plus there are a ton of  side things I do with R3 like research, reading blogs, and twittering.  (Yes, yes, I know, I’m not very good at twittering.)

On top of that I am looking for a job, creating content for another website called Meaning to Work, balancing two small groups, four serving ministries, and all the different friends I have made through all of those activities!

To put it simply there is a lot going on.  And much of it is volunteer related.

But I am not alone.  Most Americans live lives with this much activity.  Little Johnny has soccer practice, Little Suzy has piano lessons.  Mom has a meeting and Dad has softball.  Sound familiar?  As a people we tend to be overwhelmed by obligations, activities, and responsibilities.  This time pressure has made us sensitive to “wasted time.”

What does this busyness do for our relationship with God?

A lot of times you’ll hear that it’s bad to be busy.  And it can be.  If you’re so focused in moving from one meeting to the next you’ll never live with enough urgency to have time to act when needed.  But I think sometimes busyness gets a bad rap.  There are good things that come with busyness.  Busy people really are more likely to accomplish things.  It’s easier to keep your momentum going forward, than it is to find momentum if you’re not doing anything.  When you are on a schedule you’re more likely to use your time productively – however you define that.

It’s not as if slowing down somehow makes us less lazy.  I can’t be the only one who when they don’t have much going on gravitates toward the TV than an interesting book.

But when I’m busy I know I have to choose between a book and TV.  There is no “I’ll get to it later” because I don’t have the time for that.  So I stay focused.

Time management is like so many things – it can be good or bad, healthy or unhealthy.  What matters is where we put our time in relationship to God.  Are we pursuing things that honor him?  Are we pursuing things that build into our relationship with him?  If we are, then even if we are busy that is a good thing.  But the minute we become too busy for God, then there’s a problem.

So as so many people struggle with unemployement, don’t let this be an excuse to do nothing.  Go out and volunteer.  Get engaged in your communities.  But don’t let this become an excuse to become so busy you forget about God.

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