• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

No time to think

Peter Bregman puts the problem this way in an article in the Harvard Business Review: “I have no time to think.  Possibly the six scariest words uttered by a leader. But they don’t scare us anymore because they are so commonplace.” [To read more of his article, go to: http://blogs.hbr.org/bregman/2011/06/what-to-do-when-you-have-no-ti.html.] Though he attributes these words to leaders, I’m guessing that most of us feel the same way.  There is just not enough time in a day to accomplish the work we have, let alone to consecrate time to “slow down long enough to learn.”

This slowing down, however, was the model that Jesus often demonstrated.  He disrupted the rush of life to slow down for a time: “And He (Jesus) said to them (the disciples), “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while.”  (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)”  (Mark 6.31)  Mark’s description sounds like some days in ministry: pushed to the limit, we don’t even have time to catch a bit to eat.

We are called to be fruitful and good stewards of what God has entrusted to us, but our fruitfulness and stewardship will be enhanced when we take the time to step back and reflect.  Slowing down from time to time allows us to better evaluate the choices and decisions we are making.  It also gives opportunity to the Spirit to search our hearts, show us our hurtful ways and drive us back to Christ (Psalm 139:23-24)

This slowing down is not time defined.  It can take place in five minutes, half an hour, two hours or a day.  It is defined more by its heart direction than by the actual amount of time spent.

How do you disrupt the busyness of life and ministry in order to think and learn?



4 Responses

  1. Washing dishes, after the kids go to bed!!! That’s where/when I find time to think and slow down my pace. Add your favorite worship music or a powerful podcast to the ambiance and you have yourself a “working think tank”. It just so happens that one of my spiritual gifts is service or helps, so I enjoy helping in this way (most of the time). So maybe this is part of the reason this works well. I wonder if there are others who have found creative ways to think from doing something that uses their gifting or passion?

  2. As an “NT” (introvert, analytical thinker) I value time to think. If I could, I’d do it with a fly rod in hand, beside a trout stream or a hill loch in Scotland. Fly fishing is a sacred pursuit! However, as a young boy–encouraged by an older brother–I learned to take time out for Bible reading and prayer before I went to bed. In the quiet solitude of my bedroom, removed from the frenetic family life, I found precious moments. Later, in Papua, I found that the best time was before anyone else got up. I’d light the fire in the stove and make myself a coffee, go into my office and shut the door. I even told our household not to disturb me when the door was shut. Now, I have a special chair with a coffee table beside it (for Bible, books and brew).
    To summarize, we need to create sacred space and sacred solitude. That has come relatively easily for me, and yet, it is also a conscious spiritual discipline which must be fostered and guarded.

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