[dropcap]M[/dropcap]any people in my life are overwhelmed right now. Learning how to bring balance and intentionality is a tough thing. Someone shared this exercise with me when I was in the middle of seminary. I was working four different jobs, while bringing home less than enough for one. I was taking a full load at seminary, traveling, and desperately in need of rest. Yet, the most worthy privileges that demanded my time--relationship with Jesus, wife, and daughter--were struggling. I'm a doer; I like to accomplish tasks. Yet, I was in over my head. Grant it, I wan't lazy. I was just working hard, but not smart. I was trying to do everything, but finding it difficult to do everything with excellence as unto the Lord (through dependence UPON Him and not my energy). [dropcap]A[/dropcap]mentor/friend shared this concept with me: set up a weekly planning time. Reflect on the previous week. Look forward to the week ahead. Do the same thing every month--look backward and then look forward. Throughout the entire time, pray. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and discernment. Ask Him for stamina to complete what He calls you to do. though you're depending on Him for the plan, ask Him to interrupt the plan at any time. I reflect on these questions, write down the answers, and then review them at the end of the week.
- How am I going to enlarge my view of Jesus and the gospel this week?
- Review and plan time with Jesus
- What is Jesus calling me to focus on this week with Him?
- What sin is he convicting me of that I need to repent of this week and be on the look out for?
- Where is the plague of passivity in my life?
Becky (My amazing wife)
- How am I going to tangibly lay down my life for Becky this week?
- What's date night look like? What's the plan? What has she been hinting at, wanting?
- How am I going to romance her this week?
- How is her faith and relationship to Jesus?
- What's going on in her heart that I need to pray for and focus on this week?
- How is her community?
Bella (my rambunctious daughter)
- How can I love Bella specifically this week?
- What's quality time look like with her this week?
- Repeat for each kiddo
- Review friends and family calling schedule for the week
- Any birthdays, big events, milestones?
- How can I love my bros/sis specifically?
- How can I build unity in the men in our family?
- How are we connecting with community this week?
- Review goals / Review Action items
- Review direct report lists
- Review calendar /schedule project time /set up meetings
- what/who is on fire?
- what/who needs cultivating?
- How am I going to develop unity across First Euless?
- How am I going to develop a culture of building men at First Euless?
- How are Becky and I on mission this week/month?
- Who are we praying for, hanging out with?
- Review Life book (Journal and Joshua 4 Memorial for the Lucarelli Family)
- Review finances
- What topic, idea, or person do I need to study?
- What I am going to read this week?
- Who am I going to seek wisdom from?
- What is my workout schedule this week?
- What am I writing this week (public and private)?
[dropcap]A[/dropcap] few things to consider as you think through the above exercise. Even looking at the list may create within you a sense of shame, fear, or guilt. What God has called us into can sometimes be a daunting thing when our eyes are focused on our effort or grit. I ask for the Spirit to help me remember the following:
1. I must desire to apply Ephesians 5 - to walk as a wise man, making the most of my time (redeeming the time)
2. I must realize that the cross is what compels this intentionality
3. I must NOT allow this to become law.
4. If the Lord reveals idolatry-emphasis on spending time on ME, laziness, focusing too much on working out for vanity sake and not health sake... then those are thorns in my heart. I must repent. Even planning can be used by Jesus to point out sin and my need for a Savior.
If you have questions on some of the specifics, like some of the answers (besides things regarding my wife and kiddos) then feel free to ask.
Question: Have you ever used an exercise like this? Do you think it can help you become more intentional and Spirit-led with your time? Leave a comment below.