God gave us gifts and a calling (Romans 11:29). He gave us a ministry and a message (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). These things are set. They are the tools to focus our purpose. They are to be embraced to engage in abundant living.
For the shift in mindset from management of time to management of purpose, I challenge us to take another look at our lives and see where we negotiate our purpose. Negotiate? Yes. Where do we make concessions or compromises when it comes to our purpose…and think we manage time? It’s a tough question. For some, the purpose (our unlimited endowment) serves time (our limited frame of experience).
I submit that to appropriately manage purpose we must make time its servant. That is, MAKE TIME SERVE OUR PURPOSE. One of our first steps is to HALT ALL NEGOTIATIONS concerning our gifts, our calling, our ministry and our message. Remember these things are set…they are not to be juggled. But, what does that look like, when we negotiate our purpose at the expense of time? For some, we budget one day each week to “work on our purpose.” You know, plans for the conference or the outline for the book or targeted study for the class. We set aside time to do it. For others, we budget on a binge. We go “underground” for a weekend and “seek God” for “direction and clarity” about our purpose. We give time to investigate. How fruitful is one day each week or one weekend here and there toward fulfilling a LIFE of PURPOSE?
Allow me to present an alternative view. When we make time serve purpose there is no need to budget. Why? Because we will BE the DO of the gifts, calling, ministry and message. What does this look like? This is you and me going through each day BEING the DO…not being the plans or the notes we have in stacks of journals. It is us being intentional about distributing our Godly treasure in a skillful way. If this requires training, then whenever we go back to school will be okay because it furthers our purpose. If making time a servant requires movement, then why not now as opposed to a year from now? How have we afflicted our purpose because we looked through the limits of time? No more! Let’s flip it and pursue purpose (see S.M.A.R.T. Goals blog and lesson). Let’s redeem the time and make it serve that purpose!
Author Lavaille Lavette (quoted above) gives a basic guide for the transition to purpose management. Consider the following:
- Forgive yourself. Forgive others.
- Wisdom-Know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. Do more than look the part, but be trained for your purpose.
- Dedication-Pleasing God involves dedication, and dedication requires endurance, hardship, patience. (p. 54)
- Balance-When purpose becomes a part of who you are, you have no downtime. Your tim relaxing…becomes just as important and productive as time spent doing work-related tasks. (p. 74)
- Imagination-Believe in impossibilities.
- Patience-Give yourself the chance to make informed, wise decisions as well as listen to counsel.
- Generosity-Give, give, give.
As we go further on the Path to Reigning, please consider managing the unlimited (your purpose) instead of trying to manage the limited (time). Most of all, consider restoring your purpose to its proper place–above negotiations.
Selah, and love to all.