Saturday, November 03, 2007

Are You Praying with a Clock or a Compass?

Compass or Clock?

By Rick Ezell

"But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hands" (Psalm 31:14-15 NIV).

A friend said, "My problem is that I have surrendered my time to work, to other people, and to bad habits."

Then truly that is the problem. We should first surrender our time to God. God owns it anyway. Our task is to manage properly what has been entrusted to us until he returns or wants it back, including our time.

Think about a compass and a clock. Two very important tools, but two very different instruments. One would be wise not to confuse the two. To surrender our time to God is to be governed by a compass rather than to be controlled by a clock. A compass provides a sense of direction, purpose, vision, perspective, and balance. A clock measures duration, the expenditure of time. A compass determines effectiveness-doing the right tasks. A clock determines efficiency-how long it takes to accomplish a task. Both have their place. But, the compass must come before the clock, therefore, effectiveness before efficiency. The "mega priorities" of the compass subordinate the "mini priorities" of the clock.

A compass, therefore, becomes a symbol of an internal guidance system that provides us with our values and convictions based on God's Word. This non-negotiable governs our lives. In the same manner that the gravitational force pulls the compass needle; it is God that governs the drive of our lives. We surrender to his force.

Our time should be surrendered to God daily. I asked a friend who is engaged in many pursuits successfully, how he managed it all. He said, "I give my first minutes to God, then I commit the remainder of the day to his Lordship. And amazingly I work more effectively and efficiently."

Have you surrendered your time to God? Is your time in his hands?

Dr. Rick Ezell is a husband, father, author, pastor, consultant, coach, conference leader, and communicator. Rick has a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Master of Theology in Preaching from Southern Baptist Seminary. He has published over 450 articles and sermons in various Christian publications. While authoring six books he has served over twenty years in pastoral ministry. Rick, Cindy, and Bailey currently reside in Greer, South Carolina.

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