Tag Archives: Time

Takes Time To Master

I often find myself trying rush into things.  I come into something new, a new job, a new task, something, and I feel like I have to hit the ground running.  When I’ve been on job interviews in the past, one of the things always asked for is needing someone to hit the ground running.  When I make the decision to move into counseling and ministry, I felt like I had to consume as much as possible and get rolling as quickly as possible.  Then I realized something this year, while out west, mastery of anything takes time.  It’s going to take time to learn the best way to counsel and minister to people.  I can’t just go right into it and know it all.  When I started my current job 10 years ago, it’s taken time and trial and error to figure out what works best and the learning continues.

Morgan Snyder reminded me of this in his teachings when he quoted author Malcolm Gladwell.  Gladwell stated that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.  10,000 hours, that’s 416 days.  Divided to 2.5 hours a day brings us to about 10 years.  It’s a lot of time, but I’ve come to realize that anything we devote to will always take time to learn and master.

I’m not just talking about work skills.  What I really wanted to focus on here is spiritual disciplines and practices in the faith.  There are many that think, “I’m good…I was saved, baptized…I pray (occasionally)…I go to church on Sunday, etc.”  The list can go on.  But let’s think about real practice of a real and deep intimate relationship with the Father. It takes time.  As I’ve come to learn, there is a way things work and the only way to grow is through learning to develop a life that gives time to Father.  A.W. Tozer said, “The man who would know God, must give time to Him.

Through Jesus, the Father desires to restore us to a life in Him.  The way to life in Jesus is a vigorous journey and it’s one, if we truly want to come alive, requires our total attention.  It’s never instantaneous, though.  There are not any shortcuts through this journey.

For many years, I’ve lived a life of shortcuts.  Trying to find the quickest way to get to where I needed, whether that was through schooling, in my work, and in my spiritual growth in the last few years.  It’s taken a long time to learn that I have allow for time.  It will truly take a decade of working, of trial and error, to fully build a life of real authentic disciplines that is fully invested in the Father day after day.

Don’t compromise a piece of the journey.  Make the choice to fully invest in time grow into an exercise of real mastery, no matter what you invest into.  Most importantly, choose to invest in a life of real mastery in your walk with God, day after day.  I’m in the early parts of this journey.  Come along.  Think about your life and where your trying to take shortcuts.  Ask the Father to reveal where you’ve taken shortcuts in your growth.

I’m so thankful that I’ve come across a ministry of men that has helped me to learn this and know that I need to begin to inventory my life and begin to develop real habits in the life I live with God, habits of self care, the way I care for and walk with my wife, the way I father my own children in leading them to the real Father, and in the investments I make others around me.  In that order, by the way.

It all takes time.  The journey can’t be rushed, and I’m so excited to see the fruit that comes from this decade.  As Morgan Snyder reminded us at Become Good Soil, “Live in the day…Measure in the decade.

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Be Present Now

We have a serious problem in our world today that seems to get worse and worse as the years role by.  It’s not just because I’m getting older and can notice it, but because I see it each passing day, week, month, and year.  We are moving too fast and we are getting to pre-occupied with so much that this life is moving by too fast and we are losing valuable time.  I hear this every year and have said it myself.  Wow this year flew by.  Have you ever stopped to wonder why it feels that way?  It’s really quite simple if you stop to think about it.  We are moving too fast and are too occupied with multi-tasking, wallowing in our past, and focused on the future that we miss something very vital.  We miss the present.  We miss the precious time with our spouses, our children, our friends, and above all, our God.  We forget the importance of loving in the present.  Loving now and living now rather than being stuck in our phones, our computers, our television, and the rat race in traffic trying to get that job.  Like Brooks says in Shawshank Rememption, “The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.”  That was back in the 50s.  Fast-forward to now and we move even faster.

This week, my son’s high school baseball team is playing in the 2nd round of the state playoffs.  We had to drive down to south Georgia, about 250 miles south of home to play.  While driving it hit me just looking at the speedometer.  We are easily 75-80+ mph all the time.  When I was kid, 60 was the norm, from what I can remember and it slowly go faster since then. That’s a prime example.  Yes, the cars are better and faster and more advance, but our lives are faster and faster now too.  Way, way too much going on all at once and it can do some serious damage to our lives if it hasn’t already.

Love in the present.  When it comes to our wives, we need to love them in the moment.  Love them now.  Pursue them and allow them to know that we value everything about them.  That we value their love and we value everything they have to say.  You can’t value them and their sayings when you’re pre-occupied by the game or pre-occupied by your phone, your email, social media, or whatever else you have going on.  Love them in the present.

Tell you quick story about a husband.  He loves his wife very much, but at the same time, he often fails to show it when she speaks to him.  He often times listens to her talk, but is either thinking of other things, or just doesn’t full engage to where he truly hears her.  When he has done this, it makes her feel unimportant.  It hurts her heart.  It also makes him look like a complete ass.  This guy is me.  It’s something I struggled with for a long time.  Maybe a guy thing, but not an excuse.  Guys we need to stay present in our the lives of our wives.  When they are sharing, stay in it.  Pursue her.  Let her know that she is valued and all that she has to say is valued and that you love her with every word she speaks.  That’s your wife, your other half.  Your chosen companion that you unite as one to bear the full image of God together.  Love her in the present.  Live your life with her in the present.

Quit living in the past or future.  We all have so much going on in our lives that we find ourselves jumping from one thing to the next and allow life to move by so fast.  We lose focus.  We need to slow down.  Living in the past is paralyzing to our lives and focusing too hard on the the future and what is always to come forces you to lose focus of the now.  Check out the video below.  As this man, Propaganda, learned from his father, we can’t hear past the explosions when we are so pre-occupied with our past or so focused on the future.  It only leads to stepping on land mines that are crippling and can damage our lives now, sometimes permanently.  Live in the present.  Be present today.

We only have one shot with the time we are given.  Time will slip away so fast if we won’t be able to get it back.  Multi-tasking is a myth.  Love the time that God gives us now and stop focusing on what was.  Jesus came to heal us from what was in our brokenness.  Trust in Him and you can “Go and sin no more.”  God is all about our love with Him now.  Yes, the reward is the Kingdom should we choose to accept Christ.  That life, that freedom, that eternity, begins now.  Trying to multi-task and doing a thousand things because you think you just have to keep going and going and going only adds to the pressures and only makes more precious time slip away.

Stay in the present.  Stay focused on the now.  Stay focused on where God has you and is leading you. Follow Him.  Stay focused on loving your wife, or your husband for you ladies out there right now.  Don’t let things in life become so distracting that we just let time fall away.  We only have so much time here in this life.  Choose to come alive.  Not by going and going faster and faster.  But by loving God and loving each other now.  By being present in our lives now.

Don’t Lose Precious Time

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far.  It’s hard to believe we are nearing the end of July already.  Time just seems to move faster and faster as the years role on.  With all of the chaos that comes through our lives, often times there is something that gets put on the sideline, whether unintentional or intentional.  This is the time we spend with our loved ones.  Namely our spouses and children but also other family that may be close to us and even friends.  We may get so caught up in the daily grind that we forget that precious time we have.

I just returned from a wonderful 10 days on the Gulf Coast with my wife and kids.  This was a first full vacation away like this where we had nothing going on accept our time together and a big ocean in front of us.  It was a wonderful time for all of us.  We got a chance to unwind and sit on the sand or play in the ocean.  We even went on spontaneous outings to wherever we felt that night, whether out for ice cream, to one of the amusement parks in Panama City or whatever.  It was a great feeling to not worry about anything else and to have that time.  Something I cherish very much.

Often times, vacation may be the only time we get to spend quality time with our loved ones.  Work may get in the way or other calendar filling things that take away from quality time.  So what do you when you get back home and get back to the grind?  Do you go back to business as usual and everyone goes their way?  Everyone has different routines in their lives.

I have made it a point  that I was going to maximize as much time as I could with my family.  I freely and willingly take on the responsibility of providing for my family and raising our kids right and solid character.  I have made it a point, however, that I would never sacrifice my time for them to be so caught-up in work that I lost sight of them.  If my kids wanted me to go out and play with them I made sure I made the time for it.  I have been called a clock-watcher before in my work, but I make no excuses of the fact that I look forward to stepping away and getting back to my family.  Now-a-days I work from my house a great deal.  I have heard many people tell me they could not be home all the time.  I tell you this, I would work hear every day if I could if it meant I could be with my wife and kids every day.  That’s just the way I am.

The same holds true for the time with my wife, Amber.  Some say they could never work with their spouse and need that separation each day.  Granted, we all need our moments of solitude, which I have written about before and will talk about again very soon, but I cherish every day I get to be with my wife.  We were married at 18 and from that time have always wanted to be by each other’s side.  Now 17 years later that just as strong.  I love being in my home office when she is here as well.  Just being close is what matters.  It’s precious time.

Now I don’t say all of this about myself to guilt anyone.  This is the way I am.  I live for my God and for my wife and kids not to be away from any of them.  I cherish every moment of everyday I get to spend with God in His Word, writing, and prayer.  I also cherish every waking moment I am with my wife and kids.

My point is this folks.  We all have very limited time in this life.  We have very limited time with our spouses and even more limited time with our kids before they grow and move on to their new lives.  I know my time with them is running short as I have 2 almost 3 teenagers.  Cherish every moment you have folks.  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so we have to make the most of what The Lord blesses us with while we are hear before He calls us Home.

Make sure you don’t take your time with your family for granted and squander those opportunities to be with them no matter what.  Never put insignificant priorities before them.  Never get so caught up in your work that you waste that time.  You don’t want to live with the regret of having lost that time.  Our time is short, our time with those we love is precious and just as short if not shorter.  Make the most of those relationships.

Never Forget What’s Important

This has been a week of emotion changes. I began the week pumped after a great weekend of networking in Tennessee and then a week filled with brainstorming new ideas including book ideas that will be unfolding soon and nailing down the GEN180 strategy. After all that greatness building up, the week ended with the sadness of Newtown,  CT and the shooting that took place.  My wife and I were in line to pick our kids up from school when he got wind of what had happened. It tore through our hearts and Amber was in tears from the thought of what happened.  Such tragedy with the deaths of so many innocent little children along with the adults that were taken as well.  On top of that, we found out this evening, that one of my son’s former coaches was killed in a car accident today driving home with his son through Texas.  My family and I have been through our share of tragedy and it never gets easy to see.

It is hard to try and stay focused on the good with such sorrow blaring through the news and the evil that the adversary continues to push in our lives. As many people stated over and over, I hope everyone takes the time to hug their children tighter and not forget the importance of the relationships we have in our lives. The time I have with my family is so precious to me and this event shined a bright light for many people on just how precious life is for all and how much we need to not waste the time we do have.

Christmas is coming in 10 days and I know many of you will be spending this time with your loved ones. I would like to stress the importance of looking beyond just Christmas time and make the most of the time you have with you families throughout the entire year. I have always been very intentional about my time with my wife and kids, no matter how busy my work and schooling has become. I am now going to take a step to make them even more of my priority, as they, next to my walk with God, are the most important thing to me.

I know it can be very easy to get bogged down in our work, whether intentional or not. Just never forget what is important in our lives. Hug your spouses and children tighter and maximize your time with them. I have a big focus with where GEN Revolution and GEN180 will be headed next year. Through it all, I will not lose sight of my family. That balance is very important.

Let us all continue to pray for the families and the community in Newtown, CT. Pray that the Lord brings comfort to everyone involved