A common conversation I find myself having with family and friends is about how quickly time is passing.
With the threat of Hurricane Florence recently, my husband and daughters were off of work and school for almost a week. Looking back at that week when it was over, my husband and I talked about what we did (and didn’t do!) with that unexpected “free” time. He shared with me this quote from legendary basketball coach John Wooden.
“Make each day your masterpiece.”
I’ve been thinking about that ever since. It’s so easy to just let a day go by without being intentional about how you spend it. We can purposely fill our hours with what’s important to us, or we can just let the day drift by with no purpose.
Obviously there are certain tasks that must be done. But even in those daily must-do’s, we can choose to focus on making the hours meaningful.
Here are seven ways we can work to create a masterpiece each day.
1. Remember that a masterpiece is made up of many small strokes. Here and there we have days with big, bold wins. You get a promotion at work, receive a random, heartfelt note of love and appreciation from your teenager, or finally meet a longstanding personal goal.
But most days are full of lots of little strokes. Things like rocking a baby to sleep, slipping a love note into your husband’s pocket, or lighting a candle while you clean up the kitchen after supper. Maybe you listened to a play-by-play account of your son’s school day, played Candy Land for half an hour, or wrote out a Bible verse to post on the refrigerator door.
None of these tasks seems like a big deal. But put them all together, and those little moments become the building blocks of a life well-lived.
2. Do your best at every task you undertake. Whether it’s making the bed, packing lunches, or washing the car, do the best you can at every thing you try. Colossians 3:23 says, “ And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men…”
I’m not a five-star chef nor the most efficient housekeeper, but I can get a healthy meal on the table and run that vacuum cleaner with the best of ’em!
3. Realize that God’s given you the skill to produce something beautiful. He gave you a spouse to encourage and made you the parent of your children. You are His creation and lovely in His sight. Yes, you will sin and fail, but He will forgive and restore.
You were created for a purpose. As long as you’re here on the earth, there is something meaningful God wants you to do.
4. Be kind. A masterpiece can be marred by ugly strokes. One day last week, I got angry when another car cut me off in traffic. I was frustrated and blew my horn – then hoped no one I knew was around because I was so embarrassed! I’m not saying there’s never a time to blow your horn, but I just let my frustration get the best of me.
We teach our children Ephesians 4: 28, and it sounds so simple. “And be ye kind one to another…” But I definitely need the Holy Spirit’s help to live that out every day.
5. Take time for God. It sounds so basic, but isn’t getting to know God better about the most important thing we can do today? Carve some time out of your day to find a truth about God to meditate on.
I’ve started using a daily audio Bible app on my phone so that I can hear the Bible read out loud. Since I’m already in the habit of listening to podcasts, this fits right in to my day. It’s just another way to take in God’s Word.
6. Use your time wisely. I don’t think this means every moment has to be full of stuff to do. It can be extremely life-giving to sit on the porch and watch the sunset. But surfing the Internet mindlessly or sitting in front of a television for hours can leave you feeling empty, knowing that you wasted time.
Just be intentional with the time you’ve been given. Ephesians 5:15-16 reminds us, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.“
7. Focus on right now. You can’t change the past. You can’t foretell the future. Set goals and make plans, but do what you need to do today to grow in your walk with God and show love to others.
God gives us a blank canvas each morning. Let’s fill it today with beautiful brush strokes, for His honor and glory.