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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Stop Waiting for Things to Settle Down

In review of Ecclesiastes 11:4 it says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (TLB).

Today’s verse comes from Ecclesiastes 11:1-6. In it, Solomon reminds me of the uncertainties of life. Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back, but divide your investments among many places, for you can never know what risks might lie ahead. When the clouds are heavy, rain comes. Whether a tree falls to the north or south, it stays where it falls. A farmer who waits for perfect weather will never plant. If they watch every cloud, they will never harvest. Just as I cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a baby geesrowing in its mother's womb, so I cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. Therefore, I should plant my seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for I don't know if profit will come from one activity or another, or maybe even both.

In these verses Solomon summarizes that life involves both risk and opportunity. Because life has no guarantees, I must be prepared. Just because life is uncertain does not mean I should do nothing. I need a spirit of trust and adventure, facing life's risks and opportunities with a God directed enthusiasm and faith.

Waiting for the perfect conditions will mean inactivity. This practical insight is especially applicable to my spiritual life. I I wait for the perfect time and place for personal Bible reading, I will never begin. If I wait for the perfect ministry, I will never serve. Take steps now to grow spiritually. Don't wait for conditions that may never exist.

The most important word you can learn in time management is “no.” Every time I say no, I save myself a whole lot of time.

But here’s another phrase that’s also good time management: “Do it now.” When something is not worthy of my time, say no. When it is worthy of my time, “do it now.” Don’t keep putting it off!

To make the most of my time, don’t wait to begin.

There’s never going to be an ideal time for me to get control of my calendar. I may think, “I’m going to do this one of these days.” Or maybe you’re waiting to “get around to it.” One of our favorite phrases is, “When things settle down.” Yeah, right! Let me let you in on a little secret: “Things” are never going to settle down. Life is only speeding up, not getting slower. The older you get, the faster it goes. Second grade took forever! But now I find myself wondering, Where did 2018 go?

If I’m thinking that I’m going to reach an ideal situation in life that will allow me to get control of my time and do the things that are really important, it’s not going to happen. Maybe you’re thinking, “When things settle down, then I’ll start having a daily quiet time with God. I’ll read my Bible when I have a lot of time to spare.” No! Do it now. Make the time.

If I’m thinking, “When things settle down, I’m going to spend more time with my grandson,” here’s the thing: It’s not going to settle down until the he gets older and leaves for college. Do it now. I have to learn to spend time with my grandson when things are not settled down.

Maybe I’m thinking, “When things settle down, my wife and I will travel and get romantic again.” But if I have to wait until I go to a tropical island on vacation to get romantic, it isn’t going to happen very often. I need to make my marriage a priority by making time for my wife. Do it now.

Life must be lived under imperfect conditions. If the only time you enjoy things is when things are perfect, I’m never going to enjoy them. If the only time I pray is when I feel like it, the Devil’s going to make sure I never feel like it.

I have to live my life and enjoy what God’s given me today in spite of imperfect conditions or circumstances. Stop looking for things to settle down. Don’t wait on “one of these days.” Do it now.

Bottom Line:
If you wait for everything to be right, you'll never get started.

What this means to me:
If I'm waiting for the perfect conditions to exist, I'll never get started or ever finish.

In summary, this life is uncertain. If I wait for everything to be right, then I'll never get started or ever finish. I need to plant my seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for I never know if profit will come from one activity or another or even both. Life will include risks and opportunities. Since life has no guarantees, I must be prepared. Waiting on the perfect conditions will mean inactivity. Take steps now, Don't wait for conditions that may never exist. Regarding time management, when something is not worthy of my time, say no. When it is worthy of my time, say no. When it is worthy of my time, do it now and don't put it off. There is never going to be an ideal time for me to get control of my calendar, or get around to it, or when things settle down. Learn to spend time on those things that are important. Overall, I have to live my life and enjoy what God has given me today, in spite of imperfect conditions or circumstances.

As I think about my study this morning, I think I have both a hard time of saying no and of procrastinating. I’ll often gravitate toward being busy with small things then just doing something right now. This morning Father I thank for your Word and your perspective on how I should be handling my time. I pray that you help guide me today, give me your wisdom and your guidance as I do my work, lead my team and interact with others. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen!

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