Don’t overcrowd your plate, make time for people

Published 1:04 am Saturday, November 28, 2015

Lately, I found myself somewhat overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time to do it.

It’s going to get even busier between Thanksgiving and Christmas with parties and special events.

A friend said, “You have too much on your plate.” Truth is that I prepared my own plate. Somehow I’ve managed to crowd too many tasks into my schedule.

Most of us wrestle, from time to time, with the tyranny of the urgent. Often, there is not enough time in the day to get done the things we need or want to get done.

Ever wonder where the time goes? Someone has devised a method to calculate how a person would spend a typical lifespan of 70 years.


On average, a person spends 23 years sleeping, 16 years working, eight years watching TV, six years eating, six years traveling, 4.5 years of leisure time, four years due to illness, two years dressing, and a half year spent doing religious activities.

I once read an Ann Landers column with similar calculations. A survey she quoted listed seven years in the bathroom, five years waiting in line, four years cleaning house, three years preparing meals, six months sitting at red lights and eight months opening junk mail.

I’ve heard it said that if you’re too busy for God, you’re too busy. The demands of everyday life can make it difficult to find quiet time to pray or read God’s Word, not to mention telling others about Christ.

Charles Hummel, in his essay “Tyranny of the Urgent,” states, “Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.”

C.S. Lewis penned a legend about Satan and his imps planning their strategy to keep the world from hearing the message of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. One of the demons says, “I’ve got the plan, master. When I get on the earth and take charge of people’s thinking, I’ll tell them there’s no heaven.”

The devil responds, “Ah, they’ll never believe that. The Book of Truth is full of messages about the hope of heaven through sins forgiven. They won’t believe that. They know there’s a glory yet future.”

On the other side of the room, another says, “I’ve got the plan. I’ll tell them there’s no hell.” “No good,” he says. “Jesus, while He was on the earth, talked more of hell than of heaven. They know in their hearts that their wrong will have to be taken care of in some way. They deserve nothing more than hell.” And one brilliant little imp in the back stood up and said, “Then I know the answer. I’ll tell them there’s no hurry.” And he’s the one Satan chose.

We each have the same number of hours in our day; we just don’t know how many days we have to spend them. In Ephesians 5:16, the Apostle Paul reminds us to “redeem the time,” meaning make the most of what we’ve got. Take the time to tell your family and friends how much you love them and how much God loves them.

-Jan White is an award-winning columnist. She can be reached at