I love this quote from Martin Luther (the German monk, not the junior king): “I have so much to do that if I didn’t spend at least three hours a day in prayer I would never get it all done.”
I don’t normally think of monks as being particularly busy. But Mr. Luther was a deeply tormented and introspective man. So his superior put him to work. He made him super busy. He was trying to distract him from all his depressing thoughts.
So when Martin Luther says he was so busy he needed to spend three hours each day in prayer, that was saying something.
This reminds me of a in Ephesians: So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. That means we need to be cautious with our time. There are countless activities that want to pull at us. They’re distractions – good things meant to distract us from the best things.
We have so very little time on earth. We have no business bogging ourselves down with “good” activities that keep us from the “great” activities. For instance, climbing the corporate ladder is a good thing, but developing strong family relationships is a great thing. Responding to your buddy’s text is a good thing, but staring into your spouse’s eyes on your date is a great thing.
I love the prayer Psalm 90 gives us: “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
We need wisdom to realize what God wants us to do. Then we need the resolve to spend our time doing the great things, and leaving the good things for later. There’s always extra time to watch a football game or read the latest teen vampire novel. But those come after the great things. There’s time for that when we’ve done the things God wants us to do.
I want to spend my time doing great things.