Even though running three times per week seems like no big deal to squeeze into my schedule, I still have to fight for that time.  As a now single Mom, I have to get pretty creative sometimes just to make my run time happen.  Quite a few times in the month of September I had to run in parking lots and neighboring fields adjacent to where my daughter was doing her scheduled physical therapy.  The old me would have just used it as an excuse and blew off running that day .  Am I obsessed with running?  No, but I have learned to really enjoy that time with no distraction to hear what God is speaking to me and sometimes to just review my upcoming day in my mind.  I have learned a few things about those three times per week that I set aside to run that keep me committed to it.

  1.  God promised to heal my body if I ran 3x per week and He did!  My feet, ankles, knees, hips and back are strong and healthy due to obeying His suggestion.
  2.   I have learned that I am a much nicer person if I get some physical exercise.  Just ask my kids.
  3.   I have found that it has been instrumental in helping me along the grieving process this year.
  4.   I understand that as a human being, I will either pay on the front end or on the back end when it comes to almost everything I set out to accomplish.

Steven Covey’s famous book, The seven habits of highly effective people, explains this concept in eloquent detail.  See diagram below:


As you can see, the two bottom quadrants are elements of life that we should pay special attention to not sucking up our precious time.  I am sure that the updated copy of this book would include social media of all sorts!  The top quadrant labeled I (Manage), are the moments in our lives that simply happen to us that we can’t avoid.  I call this quadrant the place where we spend time putting out fires.    Then we come to the daily quadrant that deserves the most focus and time and that is the second top quadrant labeled II (Focus).  Everything listed there is labeled not urgent, yet it is the place that deserves most of our focus.

As you look at that list, you can see that preparation/planning will help in an emergency, (i.e. prepping for natural disasters.)  Prevention can speak of yearly medical checkups, making sure batteries are replaced regularly in smoke detectors, etc.  Values clarification are your ideas about what is most important to you in your life —what you want to live by and live for. They are the silent forces behind many of your actions and decisions. The goal of “values clarification” is for you to become fully conscious of their influence, and to explore and honestly acknowledge what you truly value at this time in your life.  Exercise – this is an area where you truly pay on the front end to make an investment in your future health.  It’s the same with choosing to eat healthy the majority of the time.  We either pay now or end up paying on the back end when our health begins to deteriorate.  As a result of this neglect, now quadrant one (complete with medical emergencies) is what is now sucking up our time.  Relationship-building is investing quality time and speaking the love language of the people you love and care about.  If you neglect people, you can wake up one day finding yourself alone or with fractured relationships that mean the most to you.  Now you are back in crisis mode putting out fires.  Lastly we have quality recreation/relaxation.  Taking a real break is pivotal to your mental, physical and emotional health.  Some of these concepts are explored in proverbs:

Proverbs 30:24-28The Voice (VOICE)

24 There are four creatures on earth that are small,
    but they are very wise and we can learn from them:
25 While ants are hardly a strong species,
    they work constantly to store up food during the summer;
26 While badgers are animals without many defenses,
    they are wise enough to make their homes in the rocky cliffs;
27 While locusts live without a ruler,
    they all know how to move in formation;
28 While a lizard is easy enough to catch in your hand,
    it is shrewd enough to enter the palaces of kings.

A dear friend (Ana, you know who you are) always says, “Time and money are gifts from God.  We should not waste either of them.”  As you focus on the four quadrants today, ask God how you can give more honor and glory to Him with the time He has gifted to you.

Be Blessed

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