A life of conviction

Everyone lives a life of conviction.

People are always more important than things

Whatever we give our greatest time, our greatest energies, and our greatest resources to is a good indication of where our convictions lie.

(The quote is by Os Hillman – TGIF devotionals.)

This thought provoking quote reminded me of an experiment a Sunday School teacher once did. He asked us to chart out our 24 hour day and write in each block how we most often spend our time. The little chart was very revealing, humbling and downright embarrassing.

I wondered how such a chart from today or this week or this month might compare to the one from the 70s. I remember we all filled in sleep first to complete a lot of the squares. Even that would not be the same today. I seldom get the sleep I should, though I have been increasing that healthful habit, formerly considered a waste of time. Eating, personal hygiene, and studying were next – continuing to avoid the downfalls of socializing, entertainment and the lack of exercising our spirituality.

Ken and I have done some budget counseling and one of the first things we recommend is a one-month tracking of every penny spent. Those amounts are separated into common budget categories so the couple can see if there are areas that could use more prudent spending and/or planning. Just looking at one’s budget would also indicate part of the answer to the resource question in the quote. Talent or skill would be other resources that could be evaluated. Time and energies (thoughts/goals/strivings) are always in short supply, and few think to tithe or give some of their time and energies as well as their financial resources.

I’ve heard it said that even evaluating for a day what we most thought about will reveal much of who we are and what our convictions are. You’ve likely heard it before – Repeated thoughts become words. Repeated words become action. Repeated habits become character. Character displays conviction.

Every once in awhile I’ll grab a sheet of notepaper and draw 3 lines down it. Mark time, energies, resources titles on each column and complete it for a single day (let’s face it most of us would not have the time to document everything we do for a week). Last time I did it one of the areas that stood out was: spent 40 minutes unsnarling two necklaces – that seems a high price to pay for not taking the minute to lazily hang on a doorknob till morning or just put them away properly.  It’s a good tool to help me identify where I can better redeem my time – or my energies – or my resources.





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