By Bill Allen
Last month we looked at the need to know where you are going and what you are aiming to achieve. We looked at a balance of visions for you to set. However, in the first part we started by looking at the need for life to be in the right balance or there is a great danger that setting visions might just put an even greater emphasis on the wrong priority of your life.
A common statement is “My life seems to revolve around work.” If this is you then perhaps you do not plan or have visions for anything to do outside of work? Many people lose their perspective of what is important and they let work rob them of their leisure time to the point that they wouldn’t really know what to do if you had time on your hands.
It can lead to the classic statement “I feel guilty if I am not busy” which is one of the enemy’s classic weapons; he knows that busy people cannot get quiet enough to listen to the inner voice. He makes sure that they always feel under pressure. Soon they feel guilty if they’re not busy. What is the point of working if there is no time to enjoy the fruits of your labour?
Did you ever see the film Hook where Peter Pan becomes such a busy executive that he loses his “happy thoughts”? He then turns his back on his family and his wife and concentrates on his business to the point that he sends his assistant to film his son’s baseball game rather than go himself. Ultimately he is unrecognisable as Peter Pan. In fact all that is left is the name Peter. When I saw that it really struck a chord because I had been like that, but could now genuinely say that it was my past.
I could dwell on the past, in which case I would definitely lose my “happy thoughts” or as I do now, I look forward and work hard to keep the balance right. Keeping this balance is a constant struggle as it is easy to fall back on old ways.
Did you realise that when your child turns 8, you are halfway through his childhood? By age 16 your children wouldn’t want to know you anymore as they have their “friends”. In this day and age children are growing up faster so you may not even have 16 years to really be with them. It is too late to try when they have passed 16, no matter how much you would want it now. Let’s make every day count as you never know how long you have on this planet, or how long you will have with your family.
To check if we are living our lives in the right priorities, similar to those we spoke about in part one, two months ago, first check that you agree with the order and then look at the questions under each and be as honest as possible with yourself about the answers.
Is He first in your life?
Do you have time for him, including getting some quiet time each day?
Do you have time to pray individually and as a family?
How many hours do you spend with them?
Can you give them quality time?
Is it a joy to be with them?
How much time do others have to look after them?
How many hours are you truly working including commuting time?
Do you take work home with you?
Do you think about work even when you are at home?
Is work in the right balance?
Are you struggling to get everything done at work?
Is your career fulfilling?
Do you manage most services and prayer meetings?
Do you volunteer to help?
Is Church causing you to have conflicting priorities?
Are you supporting your minister properly?
Are you under financial pressure?
Can you say “No” to the “I wants” versus the “I truly need”
Do you have to borrow to make ends meet?
Do you tithe?
Have you got time to take care of yourself?
Do you get exercise on a regular basis?
How is your weight?
Do you get time to relax and rest?
Do you have time to socialise with friends?
Do you have time to keep in contact with friends and relations?
Now viewing them in their entirety how balanced do you feel your life is at present? On a scale of 1 – 10 what score would you give your joy?
This is known as a self-diagnostic and even just thinking about the answers will have started a process of change. Next month we will look at how to prioritise our tasks to allow us to find the time for God and the family.