A Time to Kill
To hear the word 'kill' is off-putting. Actually, no, it's downright scary. Yet we've been so inundated with this word that we've become somewhat desensitized.
I feel I should say, 'kill is not to be confused with murder—technically, they're not the same! But that's another story for another day.
I'll admit this is a heavy topic. One that made me wonder if tackling this list of seasons was a good idea, as I felt I was in over my head, and I began wondering if I was qualified to speak to any of it at all.
Yet, the more I mulled over this phrase in my mind, the more I heard something that had nothing to do with bloodshed—and it was there I let out a hallelujah.
Time to kill—better known as passing the time aimlessly. While it's true that we are alive for an allotted time, it's also true that no one knows precisely how long that is. I want to say we, but maybe it's just me that was in the habit of putting things off under the guise that I can always double back and complete them later. Then on one of my many lollygagging escapades, this post smacked me in the face, "procrastination is the arrogant assumption that God owes you another chance to do tomorrow what he gave you the chance to do today." #ouch
And maybe that's the problem—we are comfortable having nothing to do for a particular period or filling blocks of time with activities that don't serve us or anybody for that matter.
Have you ever had an appointment, and by some stroke of luck, you were going to be extra early, so you decided 'I'll kill some time,' and before you could blink twice, you were late because you lost track of time? Yeah, me too.
Today I turn forty-two, #20+22, and honestly, I can't tell you where the time has gone. I vividly remember being 25 with goals and dreams. Yet, I often feel as if I've killed so much time. That is, time worrying, time procrastinating, time being idle, time being covetous, time wondering, 'Lord, when is it gonna be my time?' But was I stewarding each moment to ensure what I desired manifested? Maybe not.
Sadly, lost time can't be reclaimed. I couldn't recoup the time I spent watching 20 hrs of Netflix while simultaneously scrolling on social media or sitting in a coffee shop people-watching. I squandered time that could have been better spent doing something beneficial. Myles Munroe said his mother once told him, if you don't stop watching TV, you'll never be on it. So, he stopped watching TV and started reading, and before his death, he was on channels worldwide.
You already know this made me consider some ways folks, including myself, waste time! Although there are many ways, these four are significant, and we'd all do well to evaluate accordingly.
DOING OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK
Helping folks is one thing but doing it for them is a different ball game. An old proverb says, "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."
Doing other people's work is very subtle unless you're seriously discerning. It's usually disguised as, "Do me a small favour, please!" or "While I do this, do you mind doing that?" Believe me; it even comes parading as someone asking for help! Now I hear you, how can you think less of someone asking for help.
Let me paint you a picture. I've had folks ask for help on an essay, and by virtue of who I am, I end up rewriting the whole thing. I mean, research and all. But that's not the person's fault. No, it's not, but they know what time it is. And before I realize it, I've vested hours into doing work that should have been done by the 'asking for help damsel.'
BEING TO AVAILABLE
I, like many others, know what it is to 'people please.' And as a church girl, that's perhaps where I've done it most. Because only what you do for Christ will last, right? Sure let's go with that. Then I remembered this Scripture: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8 NIV)
Pray tell, if you are wrapped up tied up and tangled up with everyone else tasks, how are you available when the Master requires you? I used to think not being busy meant I was available, but no, rest is not something that should be an afterthought. It should be just as crucial as you eating.
If you're not careful, your availability reads as 'not in use,' which signals to some you can be called upon at a moment's notice. Now don't get me wrong, this is not a bad thing. But think about it, if the church bus driver is using the church's bus to run personal errands or as an Uber, not only will it not be available but also not in good repair when it's time to pick folks up for church. Sis, what are you saying? I'm saying, don't allow your availability to be so otherwise engaged that you're not functional for the things you're truly called to do.
All my friends know that I'm usually doing two things at once while conversing with them. I'm either working on something, cooking, cleaning, washing or browsing online, all while simultaneously talking to another person on three different apps. I'm always doing the most to brag that I'm killing two birds with one stone. But is this effective, though? Now, while most of the tasks are menial, that doesn't negate the fact that each one should have the benefit of your undivided attention.
One time ago, KFC used to say 'we do one thing, and we do it well.' And now they have fish, shrimp, and vegan options. I don't know if this is why, but many would agree the chicken is NOT the same.
A popular cliche we quote says, "a jack of all trades" doesn't stop there; it continues, "is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one." While there may be some validity to this, it boils down to whether you wish to be classed as an expert or a specialist. The term specialist refers to someone who is an expert in or devoted to a particular field of study or research. In contrast, the term expert refers to someone with extensive knowledge or ability concerning a specific subject.
Is this notion of multitasking, therefore, a myth? I don't know what the experts say, but I do know that the Bible holds true, you can't serve two masters. (see Matthew 6:24)
LACK OF PLANNING
I find that not having a to-do list causes me to veer off course. And before I realize it, I'm engaged in activities that aren't a priority. Mapping out my day forces me to focus on and tackle the things that matter most.
Having a plan lets you know exactly what needs to be done and how to proceed. I used to think my attention to detail was me being anal, but I now have an appreciation for my quirks, as some may deem it when I read the specificity of God's plan for the building of the ark and the temple Solomon built. God left nothing to chance. Every measurement was precise, and all materials are chosen based on placement and usage. Here's why that is so paramount. The word says: "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? Luke 14:28 ESV #ifmakeitmakesensewasaperson
We love to quote, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." (Proverbs 16:3 NIV) But what are you committing if you've failed to sit and write it down? 'Cause let me tell you, plans are not meant to be stored in your head. Walt Disney never saw the actual Disney World. But because he had a detailed plan, those who came behind executed it flawlessly. I am beyond persuaded that God is not last minute or spur of the moment.
I leave you with the thought that Henry David Thoreau penned, "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity." #youdonthaveanytimetokill