The print version of the Time to Read column is published each month in Transitions magazine…
I love time management. Maybe it’s my semi-OCD mentality or my concrete sequential learning style. I love learning how to maximize my time and the things I accomplish. People always ask me how I do so much. I even had one friend recently say to me, “Quit doing so much so the rest of us can do something cool.” I manage to do so much because I use my time wisely and constantly search for ways to use it even more efficiently.
That’s why the title of Vanderkam’s new book sparked my interest. 168 Hours. That’s the number of hours in a single week. It’s the same number everyone shares and spends. Bill Gates has 168 hours. I have 168 hours. You have 168 hours. How do you spend yours? If you always feel like you don’t have enough, maybe the subtitle of the book will grab you- You Have More Time Than You Think. You really do.
Vanderkam is an author, a journalist, a mother, a wife, and probably a million things more. How many of you have never started or finished that whatever you’ve been dreaming about doing because of work, the kids, the husband, or…something else that seems to justify the excuse. Don’t think you can do it just because Vanderkam did. Her life is different from yours. But you can follow her advice and use her book to help you.
The book helps by showing you how to allocate your time differently. After all, if it’s not working now, you need to try it different. Right? Right! For the book she interviewed a number of successful but happy people to see how they spend their time. She found out that “instead of letting the daily grind crowd out the important stuff, they start by making sure there’s time for the important stuff. They focus on what they do best and what only they can do.”
Is it really that easy? No, it’s not. It takes work to figure it out, but it sure is worth it. This book is the best place to start, so MAKE time to read it.
What better book to follow one about time management than one about a subject people say they don’t have time for- daily devotions. I’d say that every day millions of people around the world intend on doing a daily Bible devotion and less than ten percent of them follow through with it. The most common excuse given is that there wasn’t enough time. Well, once you read 168 Hours and learn how to allocate your time to focus on the important things like daily devotions and communion with God, read this book next.
Another common excuse people give for avoiding daily Bible study is that it’s not real to them. A lot of the stuff in the Bible, like the ever-so-infamous “begats”, just don’t mean anything to them. This book can help change that. Cordeiro manages to bring the Bible alive for the reader. It made a difference for my daily reading from day one. As he said, “Enjoy a dynamic, vital, and intimate relationship with God as you learn to hear him speak daily through the Bible.”
In the book Cordeiro talks about his own journey with God and the Biblical characters as his own personal mentors. As he goes through the books, he tells some of the stories the way he saw them. With just a small change of my own point-of-view I was able to see some of the stories in a much more dramatic way myself.
When I started this book, my own daily Bible reading was in the book of Nehemiah. This is my fifth time to read through the entire Bible and I’ll be honest with you, some of it gets kind of boring. It’s not because it really is boring. It’s because my relationship with the writer isn’t right. Cordeiro’s words helped me to see the story through the writer’s point-of-view, the same way you would read any good fiction through the narrator’s eyes. I felt the stress of the Israelites with Nehemiah as they worked with hand tools with one hand and nervously fingered sword hilts with the other, always ready for an attack.
If you would like to energize your daily walk with God through the reading of His word, I would highly recommend this book. Wayne Cordeiro is a senior pastor in Hawaii and is well-known as one of the men who single-handedly led the growth of churches attendance in Hawaii as it decreased in most other parts of the United States. He speaks with authority and confidence.
If staying in touch with God through daily devotions and Bible reading is important to you, then this is one book you need to read to make that time more effective. If time is an issue, read 168 Hours first.