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How Committed Are You

I like the word commitment. It leaves no room for misinterpretation, the margin for error, or a “we’ll see” mentality. It means you need to stick to something and do it, bottom line.

But how committed are you to your commitments? How are committed are you to God?

Some time ago I noticed an astonishing thing – well, it was astonishing to me in any case.

I noticed that if I wrote something on my “to-do list” there was a 75% chance I might do it. But if I entered something in my online calendar my success rate was pretty well 99.999%. I like the 99.999% chances better than Blake's 75% chances. Are you making time in your online calendar for God?

I found this curious. Could there really be that much difference between writing on a to-do list or entering in your calendar? Consider these different levels of commitment below in this chart:

I realised that my approach to my to-do list is to scoop as much out of it as possible, accepting that there will always be some kind of residue left over – stuff I didn’t get to, or really don’t feel like getting on with.

On the other hand, my approach to my calendar is that it was a schedule telling me what I was truly committed to, things such as meetings with clients, keynotes at an appointed time, and generally places that I had to be where if I failed to show up, I would be letting someone down.

The differences between your to-do list and your calendar.

It occurred to me that there were 2 key differences between the to-do list and the calendar:

How interesting it is that if we say will meet a person at 3 pm, will we be there at 3 pm? But, if we say we will do something for yourself, even something fun, we somehow find a way to hold on to that commitment. Miraculous, right? Well if we are making time for ourselves why can we not make time for God? I am not saying you do or you do not, but are you making enough time to be in Gods presence?

I wondered what would happen if I wrote down my every move in my calendar. At first, I resisted it for 3 reasons:

1. Loss of freedom

Somehow I thought that would be constraining, and I realized that at some level I wanted to keep my options open.

I could put in my calendar “write a proposal at 9 am on Monday morning”, but what if when Monday morning came around and I didn’t feel like it? What if I wanted to do something else? I wrestled with this for a little while, because in my mind the entire point of working for yourself is the flexibility to do what you want.

Well, that’s true up to a point. But the bottom line is you know what you should be doing to get the success that you want (in whatever way you measure that – time, money, quality of life). So why not say you’re going to do it – and then actually do it? (I know, radical right?!) Instead, we say we’re gonna do stuff and then we resist it - and when we roll on our word we experience ourselves as a smaller version of ourselves. The worst part of all of this is that because we are creatures of habit, who if you procrastinate once or twice, you are then suddenly in the habit of being a procrastinator. Are you in a point of procrastination with God?

"Nothing is more time-consuming and exhausting for the human spirit than procrastinating."

2. Extra work

Another reason I resisted putting everything in my calendar was that it seemed like more work to start scheduling things that I was probably going to do anyway. And in that thought was the problem – things I am “probably” going to do, but to which I am not fully committed. Getting through your to-do list is all about your level of commitment. When you get serious about scheduling your commitments, you get a new-found appreciation for how long tasks really take you. Are you really going to get that proposal done in 30 minutes or is that completely unreasonable?

One great way to realise how unrealistic you are about what you can get through in a day is to write your entire to-do list and then put approximate completion times next to each one. You will quickly see that what’s on your to-do list simply cannot be done in a day. Isn’t it better to know that upfront? Preparing to fail is failure to prepare. Same go with our habits and time spent with God on a daily basis continually.

3. A packed calendar

When I started doing this, I really didn’t like to see all the scraps of time scheduled with only a few small pockets left in between. Then I got good at scheduling unscheduled time – I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but one of the real breakthroughs in this is that I realized that I really didn’t have enough time when I wasn’t working, thinking about working, or worrying that I wasn’t working. By being truly committing to my calendar it gave me the ultimate freedom that I needed. It also gave me more time with our Father. God wants your time, he hates when we put him last. Start today by uncluttering your calendar and make sure you have enough free time daily for God. Continual time with God is the most loving place you can ever be. God loves you.

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