“Everything that wants your attention doesn’t deserve your time.”

Shavoris Brown

The beginning of the day, the week, the month, or the year seems ripe with opportunities. We manage to convince ourselves that all is possible, and there’s plenty of time to do it all. 

Then reality hits: unplanned interruptions, unwanted calls, unexpected sickness, unwelcome salespersons, unrealistic expectations, unforeseeable delays. You know what I’m talking about.

When these time wreckers intrude on our well-planned schedules, what do we do? We hit the pause button and ask ourselves, “What’s the most important thing I need to do right now?” Our ability to be productive depends upon our ability to determine what’s most important and to pursue that above all else. It’s a matter of eliminating the unnecessary and concentrating on the essential. To extend the opening quotation, some matters are not only unworthy of our time, they’re also unworthy of our attention.

The same mentality applies to spiritual life. Spiritual life can become cluttered and clotted with unnecessary, attention-grabbing distractions. Not a day passes that I don’t get some kind of invitation to attend a religious or church event. Not a day goes by that I don’t get an offer to buy another religious book. Hardly a day passes by that I don’t get asked to participate in another conference, another online study, another elders’ meeting, another mentoring session, or another church social. After a while, my head wants to explode. 

But the biblical solution is simple. Determine what’s most important and forget the rest. While the Bible isn’t a time management manual, it does speak to the issue of our priorities. Consider:

  • Psalm 39.4: “LORD, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am.”
  • Psalm 90.12: “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”
  • Ephesians 5.15-16: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”
  • James 4.14, 15, 17: “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that’… Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
  • Matthew 6.33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

For today and every day, determine what deserves you attention and your time, then pursue it with all you’ve got.