Time for Every Thing?
Book review: Matt Fuller explores how to be busy without feeling burdened, and how to use our time wisely.
In our book group, we have just finished reading a book called ‘Time for Everything?’ by Matt Fuller. We chose the book because many of us in the group were experiencing the pressures of feeling we had too little time and were juggling the responsibilities of home, work, church service, friendships, wider family – the list goes on. We were keen to learn the pearls of wisdom Matt Fuller could impart as to how to manage our busyness and prioritise our time.
Ironically, we chose the book at our meeting in January, little knowing how quickly and how much our lives and time available would change when the lockdown commenced!
The Elusive Gift
The book starts by discussing the “elusive gift of time”. We all have 24 hours a day and 7 days a week but many of us feel that we could easily fill double that with all the pressing calls on our time and energy. Others of us may feel that time stretches out before us and we wake up dreading how we will fill all those hours through the day.
Matt Fuller references the verses in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
Time goes on - we can’t stop it or get more of it - yet we can enjoy the good times and blessings we have been given by God. We all also experience tragedy, sadness, and weariness, and Matt points us to Jesus’ offer in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.
By casting our burdens on him, he gives us a time and place of rest. What a comfort to know that we can go to him in our busyness and weariness and give it to him.
Using Time Wisely
Through the book, Matt discusses areas of life where we may be tempted into idolatry or neglect such as work, family, church, and leisure. He outlines how within these there is much freedom to use our time wisely.
When the coronavirus lockdown started I made a mental list of all the productive and useful things I would do with the endless free time I imagined I would have. The list included:
- Starting to learn British sign language (haven’t even looked for a website to start yet);
- Write a journal (doing every few days);
- Sewing (machine has come out once);
- Clearing and tidying kitchen cupboards (did a few and was horrified at what I found out of date);
- Reading my Bible and praying more (depends on the day and how ‘busy’ I am).
Somehow, I find that often I am as busy as ever but just with different activities and priorities – so much for the endless free time! While reading through this book and reflecting on this new busyness that seems to keep me from my list, I realised that whatever the circumstances I am in, my heart is inclined to fill the time I have with seemingly important things and priorities.
However, in reality, nothing is or can be more important than spending time in God’s word, praying to him and seeking his help and grace for each day.
This should be the single most important priority for our days, everything else should flow from this close walk with God - but so often I get this back to front and only turn to God when I have burnt out my earthly resources and time.
This has been a very helpful (short) book: it points us to Christ and also gives very practical advice.
Do find the time to give it a read!
Time for every thing? is available from The Good Book Company for £4 (RRP £7.99).