Posts Tagged ‘decisions’

Time Matters

May 14, 2015

The last time that I remember being bored was the winter of 1982-83 in Beirut, Lebanon.  I was serving in the Marine Corps and was a part of the multinational peacekeeping force.  A part of my duties was to stand twelve hours of guard duty every other day.  Six hours on, six hours off, repeat.  Standing guard for twelve hours on the perimeter of an airport where you normally did not see anyone was conducive to boredom.

That was a long time ago.

Now, I have far more things to do than I have time or energy to do.  Since I have so much to do I find it helpful to make a daily list.  This list is kept on my computer and updated each work day.

The first thing on my list is the Today category.  In this category I list those things that are scheduled for that day, or that really should be done that day.  The minimum goal is to have those things completed each day.

The second category is Daily.  This category lists those things that I would like to do on a daily basis.  These are good, routine things that I try to make a part of each day.  This list includes things like make list, take vitamins, read the paper, do some other reading, pick up around the house, do some weeding, and so forth.  I really want to get these things done each day, but sometimes it doesn’t happen.

The third category is Should Do.  This list contains a list of things that I should do, that are waiting to be done.  Once the first two parts of my list have been completed, if I have any time or energy left, then I turn my attention to this list.  On a good day, I will get numerous things scratched off this list.

The fourth category is Call/Contact.  I place peoples names on this part of the list that I need to call or visit.

The final category is Could Do.  This part of the list is all of those things that I would like to do if I can find the time.  Sadly, if an item is on this part of the list, it is not forgotten, but it may never get done.  It’s only real hope is that someday I may feel the desire to bump it up into the Should Do category.

The nice thing about the list is that it helps me to stay organized.  I can get the things done that I need to get done.  I can have a sense of accomplishment as things are scratched off the list.  If I am having a day that is overwhelming, or that I am just not very with it, I simply go to the next thing on the list, do it, and check it off.  My wife can provide input to help me in prioritizing my day so that important things are not left out.  It works well for me.

Some people do not like lists.  They feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume, or they feel that everything must be done.

I can assure you.  Everything on my list will not be done today…or this week….or possibly ever.

I can live with that.

It is merely a tool by which I organize my time.  So if you want me to do something, I will write it down,  get it on my list, and it will get done…eventually.

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The Acceptable, the Good and the Perfect

May 7, 2015

I am a percussionist.  I have played percussion instruments in performance groups and in worship teams for over thirty-five years.   As a percussionist, I have a fairly large collection of instruments.  I have a vibraphone, marimba, orchestra bells, timpani, congas, bongos, tempo blocks, cowbells, tambourines, a guiro, afuche, claves, various types of shakers, and more.

I played drums and percussion in school.  There was music.  I played what was written.  When I was first asked to play in church, I asked if there was music.  The director laughed, told me no, and that he would teach me to improvise.

Now I hardly ever use written music.

One of the challenges that  a percussionist faces is determining what instrument is going to be the best choice for a particular song, or part of a song.  Personally, I pray that I will be inspired by God’s Spirit to best be in tune with the worship that is taking place.  Paul speaks of singing in the Spirit, my goal is to play in the Spirit.

Last night during the worship service, as I was selecting which instrument to play, it occurred to me that it was a good illustration of our life choices.  In the same way that I have many instruments from which I can choose to play, I also have many ways in which I can spend my time.  In fact, I have far more things that I could do, than I could possibly have time or energy to do.

I could play many instruments and sound decent, but there is only one instrument that would be best.  It is the same in life, the challenge is to select the best thing to do with our time at any given moment.

I am still working on that.

Romans 12: 1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

In playing my instruments, I want to be the best that I can be.  In life, my desire is to be in the perfect will of God, not just the good, or the merely acceptable, but the perfect.  I am glad that God accepts me in my imperfection, but I want to be the best that I can be in my service to God, not just as a musician, but in all areas of my life.

I hope that is true for you as well.

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Adjusting

January 31, 2012

Yesterday I ran three miles. .. I was supposed to run six.

When I was considering going back to school Gloria asked me what I would be giving up.  My initial reply was “Sleep”.  However, that was meant to be a joke.  Since my heart issues of over a year ago, I have been more conscious of my need to rest, and not to overdo it.

That can be challenging.

I have decided that I am going to take each day as it comes.  I will do what has to be done on that day, and then I will try to work in as much of the things that should or could be done, for which I have the time and energy.

It means making judgement calls about what is important.  Like yesterday, it is important that I continue an exercise routine.  My health, possibly my life, does depend on it.  However, I did not have time to run the six miles, and do other things that I felt should be done.  So I compromised.  I ran three miles, and got some others tasks accomplished.

What have I given up?  Hopefully, I am giving up the idea of a rigid schedule.  Day by day, I will try to adjust as needed.

Sampling Church

June 30, 2011

Who doesn’t love free samples?  You have an opportunity to try a product at no cost.  When my boys were little, they loved going to the stores on the days that free samples were being passed out.  They would try just about anything, after all, it was free!  If we timed it right, it could serve as their lunch:)

Recently, we had a visitor at church.  When I introduced myself, he said that he was from the area, and was “sampling” the church.  It made me think of sampling coffee.  There are many varieties and tastes from which to choose.  You will like some, but not others.  They are all coffee, and they will all have their supporters, but not everyone will like everything.

Kind of like church.

There are many types of churches.  Styles of worship, preaching, teaching  and other areas do have differences… but they are all churches.  People will attend the one that “tastes right” to them.

Anyone want a free sample?

Adjustments

June 27, 2011

Today is the first day of the summer classes.  I enjoy teaching, but the summer session is a serious encroachment on my schedule.  We meet four days a week for three hours. From the time that I leave home, until the time that I return, it is about  four and a half hours each day.  The problem is that I already have trouble finding the time to get things done.  Now that I will have less time available, I will need to make major adjustments to my daily schedule.  I do believe that there is enough time to do what God wants me to do.  I will pray for guidance that I will use my time wisely.  It is like budgeting money, which I am very good at, now I will have to budget my time.

Discretionary Time

March 29, 2011

How do we use our time?

We all have certain things that we have to do.  We sleep, we eat, most of us work, we have daily hygiene, (I hope!) we purchase things that we need, and we have various household chores.  These are things that need to be done.

What time is left is what we could call down-time, or discretionary time.  In that time we have our devotions, go to church, get together with friends,  spend time on the computer, exercise, read, enjoy hobbies,  watch television, and other recreational pursuits.

What I wonder about is: does television take more of our time than it should?  Have you ever calculated how much of your time is spent watching television compared to reading?  Or how much time you spend watching television compared to how much time you spend in prayer, Bible reading,  and church services?

We set up budgets for our money because we know that if we do not handle our money well we will have serious problems.

We only have so much time.  We should be as careful in our use of time as we are our use of money.  I believe that we will have better lives if we do.

Inform or Inflame?

August 24, 2010

A partial truth can be more damaging than an outright lie.  I have had conversations with people who had a small piece of the truth, but that piece had been taken out of context, or misapplied for the express purpose of provoking an emotional response.  Emotions can be powerful motivators to get a response, but it might not be the right response.

It would be best if we responded with both reason and emotion.   In fact, perhaps we should take a lesson from Mr. Spock, and allow reason to guide our decisions, free from the entanglement of emotion.  Once a decision is reached, then our emotions can come on board.

Be careful of the sources of information.  They may be telling the truth, but is it the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?  Or are portions of truth being used to manipulate a response that is desired for reasons unknown to the recipient?   We are responsible for our actions, and we should be careful of the informational sources that guide our decisions.

The Search Continues

July 20, 2010

“Think carefully, you only get to spend your money once.”

This is advice that I gave to my children when they were young.  To begin with they got an allowance and they were allowed to spend it however they wanted to spend it.  Then when they were sixteen they got part-time jobs.  Again they were allowed to spend their money however they wanted to spend it, but we no longer gave them money.  We provided a place to live, food to eat and some basic clothes.  They had their own money for gas, entertainment and stuff.

You only get to spend it once.

We are currently in the market for a black leather studio couch.  It has been hard to find.  We are also looking for a travel trailer.  We have specific ideas about what we are looking for and it has not been easy.  At times it has been discouraging but we hold off on our purchase because we too, can only spend our money once.

Do you wait for what you want, or settle for what you can find easily?

There are many things in life that we have to choose.  How we spend our money and our time, are important decisions.  Sometimes we have to choose quickly.  Sometimes we can afford to wait.

Choose wisely.

Trading Freedom for Security

July 8, 2010

Last night at Bible study, a women shared that she had quit her job even though she did not have another one lined up.  Someone else commented that  she had traded security for freedom.  She needed the income, but had been discontent for a while at her place of employment.

It got me thinking.

The health care bill is supposed to provide security by providing coverage for everyone, but it has mandatory obligations.

Air travel is much more restricted, for security purposes.

Banking regulations will probably soon be in place, hopefully providing greater economic security.

These are three recent examples of decreasing freedom for increased security.  I suspect that as we examine our lives we would find that there is often a tension, or a trade-off, between freedom and security.  I am certain that there are times that the trade-off is worthwhile.  There are other times that I suspect we have made a poor bargain.

Deal? or No Deal?

Freedom?  Or Security?

Time to Begin

July 1, 2010

I have now been blogging for two years.  This will be my 375th post, there have been over 1000 comments.  For the most part, I have written something every morning Monday-Thursday.  It has simply become a part of my morning routine.

That is about to change. 

I will still blog on those morning when I wake up with something on my mind that I want to share with those in cyber-space.  On those morning when I do not have something to write about, instead of sitting at the computer until some idea strikes me, I am going to use that time to begin writing a book expounding on my philosophical views.  I have been thinking about doing this for over ten years and I am not getting any younger. 

It should be done in about ten more years.

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It’s not goodbye, it’s see you less often.