A Few Seconds Can Change a Life: Use Your Time Wisely

A Few Seconds Can Change a Life: Use Your Time Wisely

As I look back, I realize more than ever how often a few seconds can change a life. I am still learning the art of using my time wisely by valuing the days, moments, and even seconds God has given to me. The results, or fruit, of these moments become the seeds that influence many other moments of our lives.

I have often told others, “I can not afford to have one negative thought toward anyone.” Why? Because the thought I harbor will influence my actions, my actions will form patterns of behavior, and those patterns will ultimately dictate the course of my life.

Does this sound too dramatic or overstated? Perhaps, but not likely!

God continues to challenge me with the reality of making the most of this moment of time — to reevaluate and refocus.

Procrastination

Procrastination robs us of any future reward for present effort. It deceives us into believing we have unlimited time to do the things we know we should do, and to think the way we know we should think. In the deception, we are hindered from moving forward.

“I know I should forgive, but …” “I should invest in that relationship, but …” “I shouldn’t think this way, but …”

We muse, buried in excuses and self-absorption — unmoved and unchanged. It’s a sad representation of far too many lives.

In a Few Seconds

In a few seconds, we have the power to change both our thoughts and actions.

  • “There’s nothing I can do about it,” can become “I can’t do everything, but I can do something.”
  • “Someone else will do a better job of that,” can become “I may not be the best, but I can make a difference.”
  • “It’s not my problem,” can become “Whether I’m the source of the problem or not, I am responsible to do my part.”
  • “I tried, but nothing changed,” can become “This relationship means too much to quit now. I will do everything I can to bring change.”

These changes of attitude demonstrate single moment re-thinks capable of transforming the lives of more people than we realize. A few seconds can change a life. Even mine!

The Seeds of Change

What is it today? What is God asking us to do right now? Les Parrott speaks of six impulses that keep us from improving:

  • Giving up before trying … because we feel helpless.
  • Shunning a challenge … because it seems daunting.
  • Settling for the statue quo … because we lack vision.
  • Shirking responsibility … because its easier to shift blame.
  • Doing the bare minimum … because that is all that’s expected.
  • Avoiding taking action … because we fear failure.

We don’t need to lose momentum, robbed of time and opportunity. By God’s grace, we can move beyond limitations into a lifestyle of wise time management. A few seconds can change a life!

May we be bold, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal any areas which are keeping us from living to our full potential. We have all faced similar challenges.

Truth to Hold on To

Instead of focusing on the problem, God offers us living truth:

  • We are not helpless!

 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness…”
Romans 8:26

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:13

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
Galatians 6:5

  • I will do my best in every situation.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

  • God defines me, not failure!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7

A Few Seconds Can Change a Life

Let’s take a few seconds to consider these truths God declares about us — seconds that may change our lives. Hopefully, these seeds of change will produce the fruit of change in others.

“Lord Jesus, show me the paralysing lies that keep me from transformational change. May the truth You declare about me become stronger than the belief systems that have bound me. May I use the time You have given me wisely, bringing life, love, and hope to others. May I accomplish the full purpose and design You have declared for me. Today, Lord, I turn from wasted moments. I know that what You have ahead of me is greater than I can imagine. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.”

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See Clearly — A Shadow or the Real Thing

See Clearly — A Shadow or the Real Thing

I see clearly from my upper-story window both shadows and the objects projecting the shadows. Both their dimensions and shapes differ. The shadow often stands out sharper and more distinctly that the real thing. With the changing angle of the sun, the shadows gradually reshape into forms much different from the original appearance.

God reminds us,

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1 Corinthians 13:12

He alerts us of our limited viewpoints. We look at people and the shadows of their lives from a single angle, but there are multiple points of view hidden from us.

Optometrists prescribe prescription lens to correct physical vision. But how do we secure a prescription for our hearts, to enlighten us to look deeper and wider?

God’s View

We need — desperately need — to see things from God’s perspective. As the Light, He illuminates everything inside and out.

He also reveals Himself in multiple ways. Hebrews 4:13 says,

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

This thought becomes both frightening and comforting to those who experience His love and grace. We most accurately gain God’s view by knowing Him. We know Him most accurately through His Word. The Bible gives us the clearest image of God’s perspective regarding all things. The more we read and understand His Word, the more we will see clearly and understand His thoughts and ways.

God’s Heart

No one fully knows their own heart or motivation, let alone the heart and motives of others. Yet, how quickly we judge each other from limited viewpoints.

Even when we think we operate with pure motives, the curse of sin taints our words and actions. Just as often, the reverse holds true. We may say or do something with obviously impure motives, yet along the way God shifts our hearts to align with His.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:9

Only when our hearts become transformed more like His heart will be see clearly both ourselves and others. The Holy Spirit, our Comforter, comes gently and firmly nudging us closer and closer to the heart of Father God.

See Clearly

We so easily become deceived while living in the shadow lands of earth. Through consistent prayer asking God to help us see clearly, God opens the path of improved perspective.

As children, we may have enjoyed playing shadow creatures with flashlights beaming against dark walls. But as adults mature in the Lord, we desire more and more to see clearly — first ourselves and then others.

“For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God].”
1 Corinthians 13:12 AMP

As we realize our limited view, we more quickly restrain critical judgments and offensive rhetoric. Like the disciples of old, we, too, possess warped perspectives, blurred vision, and dimmed hearts.

Let Us Pray

The greatest shifts occur as we acknowledge our shortcomings and pray. Let us earnestly and consistently ask God to remove the enigmas of our flesh and the many fragmented perceptions we hold. May we see beyond the shadows people cast to God’s perspective.

Oh Father, we groan under the weight of our insufficiency. The things we think we see and know clearly, we neither know nor see. In one sense, we accept our limitations. While in another, we earnestly seek You to change us and grant us clearer vision. If ever there was a time or season when clarity of thought and motive is necessary, now is that time! May we not be like blind beggars groping in the darkness of deception. Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see as You see. Open our ears to hear Your voice. Open our hearts to respond with full obedience and alignment to Your ways. Draw us near to Your heart, that we might reflect You more and more. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for Your conviction and comfort. We are grateful, Lord Jesus, for Your incredible grace and truth that helps us to see clearly.

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Leadership 101 – Take it from the Eagles

Biblical View of Leadership
Being a prairie girl, rarely have I spotted an eagle. Usually, it has been in spring or late fall as they follow the migratory path of geese. Each sighting is inspiring! These majestic birds are leaders in every way.
It is no wonder the Bible references eagles often.
“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
… run and not grow weary.
 walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31

Leaders Rise Above

Eagles fly at elevations up to 10,000 feet.

“Pigeons scavenge on the ground and grumble and complain all day long. Eagles fly.”
Dr. Myles Munroe

Though cranes, vultures and geese fly higher than eagles, eagles soar effortless on upper-level currents. When other birds take cover from a coming storm, eagles seize thermal opportunities for updraft and lift.

Great leaders are problem solvers! They don’t hang around on the ground complaining. Leaders pick up the challenge and find resolutions. They are high flyers! Leaders thrive on challenges using them as instruments to propel both themselves and others forward.

Fearless Leaders - Eagles

“There are three things too amazing for me;
four things I do not understand;
the way of an eagle in the sky ….”
Psalms 30:18,19 

There were a handful of things the psalmist found difficult to comprehend; the first one, mentioned is how eagles fly.

Leaders Build Relationships of Trust

Eagles are monogamous, generally mating for life. When a male eagle wants to mate, she first tests his commitment. Then and only then, will she allow him to mate with her.

Developing this high level of commitment ensures relationship that will endure through all seasons.

Protective Leaders - Eagles

An eagle’s nest can weigh a ton or more. That’s a lot of nest!  Both eagles and leaders take seriously the responsibility of those they have been entrusted with.  They develop an environment of care and protection.

“Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?
On the cliff he dwells and lodges, upon the rocky crag, an inaccessible place.
From there he spies out food;
His eyes see it from afar.”
Job 39:27-29 

Leaders are Visionary

Leaders are long-sighted – “eagle-eyed”! They have a capacity to see what others miss!

Visionary Leaders - Eagles

Sight is the eagle’s strongest sense. I read once that an eagle can see a dime in the grass a mile away. True or not, I don’t know. Eagles do have a wider range of vision and see about five times better than humans. They also see a wider spectrum of colour than we do.

Godly leaders continually have divine foresight to see and perceive what is not humanly possible. They see opportunities, detect threats or spot out fresh food to nourish the young.

Leaders Don’t Eat Dead Meat!

Eagles, unlike vultures, always eat and feed their young fresh food. Leaders maintain personal strength by guarding their eyes, ears, and hearts carefully.  The media offers up a lot of “dead meat” these days!

Godly leaders intentionally study and read the word, participate in private and corporate worship and enjoy authentic relationship.

Leaders Train the Young

“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young,
He spread His wings and caught them,
He carried them on His pinions.”
Deuteronomy 32:11

Leaders of Strength - Eagles

To help strengthen and train their young, a mother eagle throws the eaglet out of the nest.  As they shriek in fear, father eagle flies underneath catching them and bringing them back to safety. Together they continue the process until the eaglet is strong and confident to fly and soar on its own.

Leaders use their strength to strengthen others. They guide those around them to grow, sometimes even pushing them beyond their comfort zone. In so doing godly leaders are willing to do whatever is necessary to train and elevate others, equipping them to soar.

Leaders Self-Examine

“Who satisfies your years with good things,
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”
Psalms 103:5 

The lifespan of an eagle is thirty to forty years, much longer than most birds. Perhaps, that is why the psalmist thanks God for “renewing” our years like an eagle.

Self Examining Leaders - Eagles

A strong leader examines his life carefully in view of eternity. He will look back and take stock, ignoring neither the good nor bad experiences and learning from both. He will create checks and balances for personal and professional growth. Proper periods of rest, nourishing food, and adequate exercise are conscious choices he makes in his renewal process. He willingly maintains relationships of genuine accountability.

Inspired by these amazing birds, my focus shifts instinctively from the created to the Creator of all things. I want to learn well, what He is teaching me in these moments.

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Here’s more reading on leadership:

Moses – The Defining Qualities of a Great Leader