“I’m swamped.” I’ve said it, you’ve said it, we’ve all said it at one overwhelmed point or another.
The Bible tells us that Jesus’s disciples were once “swamped” in a different way. As they sailed across the Sea of Galilee “a squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger” (Luke 8:23). You know the rest of the story: Jesus “got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm” (Luke 8:24).
This passage perfectly illustrates the core premise of this reading plan—namely that the solution to the disciples being swamped by the wind and waves is the exact same solution to our being swamped by our to-do lists and hurried schedules. The solution is found in Jesus Christ. How? In two ways.
First, Jesus offers you peace before you do anything. Nearly every time management guru says that the path to peace and productivity is found in implementing their system. This is what we might call “works-based productivity.” As Christ-followers, we start with the opposite premise in what we might call “grace-based productivity,” which says that through Jesus Christ, we already have peace, and we do time management exercises X, Y, or Z as a response of worship.
Here’s the second way that Jesus is the solution to our time management problems: Jesus shows us how God would manage his time. Now, of course the gospels do not show Jesus walking around with a to-do list, calendar, or smartwatch. But they do show him having to prioritize where he spent his time, dealing with distractions at work, fighting for solitude, and seeking to be busy without being hurried. Suffice it to say that when we read the gospels for the biographies they are, we can see at least 7 timeless time management principles modeled by Jesus Christ—the most purposeful, present, and productive Person who ever lived. Here’s the first:
To redeem our time in the model of our Redeemer, we must first know the Author of time, his purposes for the world, and what he has called us to do with the time he has given us.
We see Jesus practicing this principle in Mark 1:35 when “Very early in the morning…[he] went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Throughout the gospels, we see Jesus prioritizing time with the Father above everything else, including sleep (see Luke 6:12). We must do the same.
But let’s be honest. Making “quiet times” a meaningful habit can be hard. I’ve experimented a lot with this practice over the years, and I’ve recorded a quick video that breaks down what works for me. Watch here: