Contact Me

If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I didn't Have Time

I don't usually write an exhortational type of post. It's not my gift. But this topic has been on my mind for a long time and I feel God nudging me to write it:

Yes, yes, I know there are truly busy people everywhere. I know that there are circumstances that prevent a person from fulfilling an obligation from time to time
But, for most of us, when we say, "I didn't have time to. . . ", we're actually saying:
  • Time got a way from me
  • I watched TV or surfed the web instead of writing that letter, etc
  • I forgot
  • It just wasn't important enough for me to spend any time on
  • I procrastinated because there are so many other things I'd rather do.

I see this all the time as a music teacher.
The vast majority of the hundreds of students I've taught will choose TV, video games, friends, lolly-gagging. . . over practice.
They'll tell me, "I want to be a famous singer."
Or, "I want to play guitar in a band."
But then, they habitually come into lessons unprepared.
I ask them, "Did you practice?" (I already know the answer, but I'm waiting for the almost inevitable answer that will prompt my customary lecture.)
The student says, "I didn't have time."
Me: "Ah, I see. Well, did you have time to go out with your friends? Did you watch any TV?"
Student: "Yes, but. . . "
Then they get the little lecture. Me: "Please do not come into your lessons saying you didn't have time. I'll bet you can come up with five minutes in your busiest day. And with only five minutes of practice, you could have had this piece of music ready to go. Right?"
Student: "Yes," or "I guess so."
Me: "Absolutely. So the next time you come to your lesson unprepared (unless you've been sick or had some type of family emergency) just be honest and say, "I chose not to practice this week so I could do other things which please me more.'"

Teaching kids gives us teachers a wonderful opportunity to say to them what we'd love to say to adults, but can't:
You can always find time to do what's important to you. (Yes, I know there are emergencies!)

You know what they say: If you want something done, ask a busy person.
A busy (not a frenzied-busy, but a disciplined-busy) person has learned how to prioritize. He or she has made decisions and stuck with them in order to get things done.

As Believers, this is so incredibly important.
God has jobs for each one of us to do.
And He will give us the time to do it.
We just have to sort through our choices and put things in the right order.

Oh, if you want to read about a busy person, google Susannah Wesley.
Here's what one of her sons, Charles, wrote:

"My gracious Master and my God
assist me to proclaim,
to spread throughout the earth abroad
the honors of Thy name." (O for a Thousand Tongues, by Charles Wesley)


  1. Hi Dena -

    I think people like the idea of learning a new skill...until they discover what it involves. It takes hard work and discipline. If they don't commit to it, they'll end up being dabblers and never reach their full potential.

    Susan :)

  2. Yes, yes, yes, Susan. Totally agree. And becoming a dabbler means you never reach that point where you can have true satisfaction with something you've accomplished. I believe "dabbling" is one of the Devil's tactics.