After signing up for my first full Ironman, I immediately began to worry about the intense training schedule that was involved in this new adventure. The thought of filling my already packed day seemed more overwhelming than the race itself (2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile run, raced in that order and without a break). I immediately had buyer’s remorse and panic set in.
What I needed was a plan to add more hours to my day, a way to manage time. That’s when I realized that time can’t be managed, even the term time management is a misnomer because it is consistently and quickly slipping away from each of us at the same rate. A better phrase would be choice management. I can’t manage time but I can manage the choices I make to fill the hours I have been given.
The Bible speaks of the importance of our time when it says, “teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). I believe wise choices make the difference in merely living for today or living for eternity. So before my training begins, I want to make sure that I keep things in the right order and not fall into the trap of worshiping the created over the Creator by not making time for the One who gave me the ability to engage in these activities in the first place.
If I am to be successful in this endeavor than I need to consider my quiet time and bible study as necessities that should be first on my choice management list for the day. This sounds wonderful as I am sitting here typing this but I know that when fatigue sets in, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I am not dependable when I think I can spend time with God later, I can read my bible later or I can be still later. Unfortunately, later is a dangerous word according to my youngest daughter who when she was three-years old was so exasperated at my responding to her many requests with “later” that she cried, “No Mommy, later means never!” I guess she had some empirical data to back her statement up.
With that in mind, I should purpose in my heart to start my day with the One who is the source of my strength. If I have the discipline to run marathons and train for an Ironman, then I certainly have enough discipline to put first things first. Jesus promises that if I seek first His kingdom and His righteousness that all these things will be added (Matthew 6:33) – to include the time I need to train.
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8