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  • Writer's pictureDevoted Educator

Time and Focus

Read: Romans 12-13, Colossians 4:5-6, and 1 Peter 5:6-11

Our days are structured, outlined with agendas, and filled with calendar reminders and notifications. Aligning our short term and long term priorities with God's priorities will add meaning and peace to our days. Intentionally making time to serve Him, to praise Him, and to learn more about Him will help open our eyes to more clearly understand His plan for us. How we spend our time matters.

There is a natural rhythm to the seasons of nature that pass in a year and to the seasons of life in a person's lifetime. In the field of education, we have scheduled breaks that affect the lives and plans of children, teachers, and communities. We often plan family events and make major life decisions in relation to these seasons and calendar-scheduled breaks.

However, during the breaks and especially between the breaks, there is much life to be lived. How are you living it? How are you spending your time? With whom do you spend your time? As educators, our students look at pictures of our families on our desks and think about what our family lives are like outside of school beyond what they learn about us through our interactions in the classroom. Although sometimes a shock to them, they see us in the grocery store, local events, and even at church.

Through scripture, Paul tells us, "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man," (Colossians 4:5-6). We can honor God in our daily lives by "seasoning" our behavior and language with Christian values. This is something we can practice daily in honor of Christ who is in us and walks with us.

Honoring God by following Jesus Christ can also provide relief to stressors we face or worries that we endure through a diligent focus on living for God instead of for ourselves and striving to follow His plans for us while also discovering what great plans He holds for us. Peter's words of wisdom apply: "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you," (1 Peter 5:6-11).

In living our daily lives enriched by Christian values, our families are strengthened, our students and communities see Christian light in us, and we serve as models of a life filled with God's grace and compassion. Protect your time in this life, "cast off the works of darkness," and "put on the armour of light" (Romans 13:11-12). Rather than letting ourselves get caught up in the darkness of culture, choose to live a light-filled life and make this world a brighter place.

In serving Him, our purpose and decisions may be redirected to better align with God's vision. However, it is also of value to note that in striving to live a gospel-driven life, we are also called to guard our time and take care of ourselves rather than toiling in worry and strife. God knows our needs and provides for us. Our walk in this life is in honor of God, our Father and Creator. According to Psalm 127:2, "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep." So, let's also take time to rest and find joy in knowing that we are loved by God and are sharing His light with all who cross paths with us.

In what ways do you represent Him by living a light-filled life? Are there moments in your day that you can take time to pray and meditate on His blessings in your life?

PRAYER: Thank you, Father, for guiding us to lead light-filled lives and for sending your son as both a sacrifice and an example for us. Please lead us to honor you with our time and to make gospel-driven decisions in our daily lives that reveal your glory to the world. We pray to you in the power and glory of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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