Redeeming Time

As I was talking with my coach leading up to my sabbatical time, he suggested I begin working on my sabbatical goals before the start of the sabbatical. No sense in waiting if the work could be done sooner. So, I began to read the book at the top of my list and then began implementing some of what I was reading several weeks ago. That book is Redeeming Your Time (RYT) by Jordan Raynor.

Redeeming Your Time was recommended as a book to help me with my sabbatical goal of establishing better rhythms of ministry. This book was meant to fit the niche of time/task management using Christ’s time on earth as a model. Having fully read it through once, it did not disappoint on why it was recommended to me.
Initially, I thought it would just be a book that would help me establish better rhythms of ministry as I look to be more productive, organized and focused on the priorities God has placed before me. Not only do I believe this book will help me make progress in those areas as I implement some of the practices into my schedule, but it has already helped me to better understand my place in the grand scheme of God’s plan for the world.
First a confession…I don’t think this is uniquely just a “me” problem, but I sometimes have this sense that the work before me is all up to me. What I mean by that is: “if I don’t get it done, it won’t get done.” I ultimately know this is not true, but I find that I can get into a bad thought process where in that moment this seems true.
If that is you, let me encourage you from Philippians 1:
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:3-6 NIV
If you are like me, you likely read this from a self-centered perspective. That God will help ME finish the good work he began in me, but that is not what this says. It says that he will carry that good work on to completion until Jesus returns. It says nothing about me completing it…GOD WILL COMPLETE IT!
At first, this might seem a bit depressing since we won’t necessarily see all of the work we started through to completion. There is a newer acronym for this: FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out. When we see the start of something, most of us can’t stand it when we don’t know how it ends.
Instead of FOMO, let me suggest that this can be very freeing since it is ultimately not all up to me to get everything done. If God has begun the work, we can be assured that he will finish it even if we don’t get to.
While this was not the first biblical truth Jordan writes about in RYT, but it was the first of the truths that I really needed to hear.
The second is this: “The Gospel is our source of rest and ambition.” (pg 10 of RYT)
“The gospel frees us from the need to be productive.” In other words, my salvation does not depend on how productive I am. I am saved by grace because of Jesus, not because of me. I don’t have to earn my way to heaven. That’s good news since we would all fail in that endeavor.
But then, out of my gratitude for what Jesus did comes “the burning desire to steward my time well – not because I need to be productive, but because the gospel compels me to be productive.”
I can both find rest and ambition if I hold a proper view of the gospel – I needed to hear that.
As I put the finishing touches on this post, we have arrived safely in Florida for the start of our two-week vacation where we will rest together as a family, play together as a family and create memories.

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