Question Box
Good News Magazine
September 1962
Volume: Vol XI, No. 9
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Question Box
Good News Staff  

"I have so many things to do there just isn't enough time in a day to get them all done. How can one do everything that needs to be done?"

   Did you know that God INTENDS that you have more to do each day than you possibly CAN do? Mr. Armstrong has said that he would need no less than a 72-hour day to thoroughly accomplish all the work he has to do! When you have more to do than you can possibly get done, this forces you to CHOOSE and to build CHARACTER. God is looking to see what you choose to DO with the time He has given you whether you are using it to build character by choosing to do the really important things in your life or whether you are just drifting, doing what comes "naturally," and placing temporal values ahead of spiritual and eternal values.
   Frequently, because of spiritual problems and lack of growth, we find it necessary to inquire specifically about how much time is spent in prayer and Bible study. The answer we receive is often, "Oh, I like to study 30 minutes every day and pray about the same length of time." But when we ask, "Yes, I know how much time you would like to spend in prayer and study, but how much time DO you spend?" there is often an awkward, embarrassing silence. The individual admits that what he would "like to" do is a far cry from what he actually DOES.
   This problem of time slipping through our fingers is no respecter of persons. It makes no difference whether you are an older, retired person or widow with "time on your hands," a young mother with a house full of children, a father with a job that keeps you constantly busy, or in ANY OTHER KIND OF A SITUATION YOU CAN NAME, YOU have a battle on your hands to make sure you get the really IMPORTANT things in your life DONE.
   Bible study and prayer are the real battleground the fighting front of our spiritual warfare and the place where too many of God's people are handed shameful and ignominious defeats! You need to give Bible study and prayer the choicest part of your day not whatever is left over after all the rest has been scheduled. It needs to be scheduled at a time of day which is least likely to be broken up even in a time of emergency. You can afford to miss an hour's sleep now and then, but you CAN'T afford to miss out on prayer! So give prayer and Bible study your choicest time when you are most alert and least likely to have your routine interrupted.
   Closely allied to Bible study and prayer is another important but often neglected part of our spiritual development. MEDITATION. As The Bible Correspondence Course mentions, to meditate means to dwell in thought, to muse, to reflect NOT to daydream! The Bible shows that meditating on God's law (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3) and on His plan and creation (Psalms 77:12, 143:5) is a vital part of living close to God. The Bible tells you to "ponder the path of thy feet" (Prov. 4:26) to take time to think about where you are going, and to really examine yourself to see if you are growing, overcoming, and CHANGING. In this day of high-speed, high-tension living with the world unthinkingly plunging to oblivion there is certainly more need than ever to fop to MEDITATE.
   Important though Bible study, prayer and meditation are, your day cannot be completely successful unless you properly schedule and DO the other activities that are basic human needs. One of these is SLEEP. Sleep is a necessity of life, but it needs to be planned to make sure you get enough yet not too much. Seven to eight hours per night is a general average, and you will have to experiment with yourself to see if you need more or less than this average. Do not fool yourself either way! The vanity of "driving on through the night" and getting less sleep than you need simply DOES NOT PAY! When you are operating on less sleep than you need, your judgment is unsound and you do not see things in their true perspective. Like the alcoholic, you might think you're really driving yourself and getting things done but you're not fooling anyone outside of yourself. This is to say nothing of the damage done to your health. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. But don't go to the other extreme and get too much sleep consistently. Sleep can be used as an escape from reality and responsibility just as surely as drink or dope (Prov. 6:9-11, 20:13).
   Now consider WORK. You wives especially with children need to schedule your work time in order to insure that you spend sufficient time in prayer and Bible study. It is very easy for a housewife to let physical duties necessary though many of them are consume time that should be spent in study and prayer. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and you will have the time and the wisdom to complete your daily chores.
   Time for RELAXATION is another part of each week's activities which is very important. How you spend this time will vary greatly and may include eating your meals, playing with your children, visiting, reading, playing a musical instrument or singing, spending time on a hobby, or anything else that relaxes you, yet that is profitable. Make sure that you DO schedule time for relaxation each week, but keep it in its proper place, making sure you don't spend too much time doing the things you "like to" do while neglecting those things you ought to do.

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Good News MagazineSeptember 1962Vol XI, No. 9