Choosing to Cheat

Nov 19th 2009

There’s just NOT enough time.  For anything.  I mean think about work.  God made us to be productive…good work pleases God.  But how many of clockfaceus actually feel that we have enough time to get everything done at work?

  • – Always one more meeting…If you are typical, you will spend, on average, three years of your life just sitting in meetings.
  • -Always a little more paperwork.  The Wall Street Journal cited this stat: The average executive spends 4 hours/week searching for missing information in messy desks and files. (I’m the one who ups the average for those of you who are neat and tidy!)
  • – Always 1 more interruption. The average person is interrupted 73x’s per day.  (Unless you have kids who text — then take that to the power of ten.)  It’s our own fault.  We thought we were so indispensable that we created pagers, cell-phones, and text messages.  All we really did was create the ultimate in interrupted lifestyles.

Work will always ask for more time.  Then you go home and that takes time.

  • – You will spend 6 months of your life sitting at traffic lights, waiting for the lights to turn green.
  • – So we multi-task right?  Jon Ortberg detailed a study about the dangerous things that people do while they are driving.  The top three are talking on the phone.  Putting on make-up while driving, and reading while driving.  Some of you try to do all three!

And when you get home…how many of us feel that we have enough time to accomplish everything we should get done at home?   I can’t remember the last time one of my kids said,  OK Dad. We’ve played enough. Why don’t you go back to the office now and see if you can get some more work done?  Or the last time Lynn said, Dan, you have to stop coming home so early…why don’t you just go back to the office?  (Well okay there was one time, but that was for a whole different reason…)

There’s not enough time…so we try to find ways…to make more time.  We brew instant coffee in microwave ovens and get TiVo so that we can spend less time watching more tv.   A USA Today a writer interviewed experts in different fields like physical fitness, vocational life, relationships, sleep and so on. All of the experts listed how much time a person needs to devote in their particular area just to get by not to be a master of it, but just get by How much do you need to sleep? What do you need to devote to your career?  How much exercise do you need?  The writer totaled all of those amounts, and they came to about 40 hours a day. We need a minimum of 40 hours a day to just get by.

Andy Stanley has written a book called Choosing to Cheat. The idea is that we all have to cheat somewhere in order to make it through life. He’s not talking about unethical cheating like cheating on a test.   He’s simply saying that something or someone in your life is going to get cheated of your time.  You can’t answer every demand.  You can’t satisfy every voice.  You have limits. You are finite.

Who are you choosing to cheat?  Somebody – something is going to feel cheated.  Spending a few days with my dad in the hospital, after quadruple bypass, Hawaii croppedhas me thinking about stuff like that, thinking about life, thinking about my family, big picture issues.  That’s one of the questions we all need to ask…  Who are you going to cheat out of your time? I keep this picture as the screensaver on my computer — may it remind me of one group I don’t want to cheat.