Sunday, December 29, 2013

JesusBux: Time is more than Money

Captioned "Jesus starts his workday."
It's funny how divine appointments tend to sneak up on us. 

Last night, I made the choice on a whim to go down to Starbucks and "work" for a while, as the internet at my apartment is on the fritz. And by "work" I mean look at some box scores and then sit on Facebook until the store closes - a simple time waster, just something to do before settling in. While my intent was lazy, God had other plans, and I wonder if my whim was not a whim but a whisper, just loud enough to be audible.

I met a man, also named John, that approached me and asked me about my plans for the next few years. I told him I wanted to move to a larger paper eventually, maybe a bi-weekly or a daily. You know, logical steps. No sense in getting ahead of myself.

To my surprise, he responded by asking me why I wasn't gaming for Sports Illustrated, and while at first I thought he was being a little sarcastic, eventually I realized he put stock in what he said. Literally. The man, who is a local business owner and "teacher" of millionaires, spent the next hour or so going over some basics of how to change your mindset from one of complacency how and reach for success.

His original thought was aimed at the business and professional side of things, but he mentioned Jesus, the bible and proverbs enough times during our conversation to get me thinking: How can I apply these things to my walk and my career at the same time?

Here are a few thoughts:

One of his strongest points was the value of time. Rich business owners, he said, would be better served to fly across the country in their corporate jet than fly commercial or drive, even though it might be far cheaper. The reason is that they know the value of their time. It's worth much more than the small amount of money people are willing to trade it for.

In my job, that means I need to be more intentional about how I use my time. Sure, I get paid a certain amount per hour, but the lessons I learn and the progress I make in my career are worth more than the measly salary I make, even though I may not reap the benefits right now. Making the most of each opportunity, going further on that story, taking the time to get better at interpreting stats or communicating a coaches thoughts - all those things are benefits on top of the money the newspaper pays me, and are things I have to choose to pursue. 

That same concept applies to my relationship with Christ. I tend to spend quite a bit of my free time in a mindless zone. The radio is on when I drive and when I sleep, and once I get home from work, I sit on the couch and watch netflix or head down to my favorite cafe to waste time online. All that time could and should be better spent, especially the 10 hours a week behind the wheel of my car. Those mindless things are the defaults I drift toward, and it's rare that I choose something different and actually engage of my own accord.

Just as I can spend my work hours focusing on making myself a better journalist instead of simply getting the work done, I can also make good use of the times where my mind would otherwise be floating useless, namely in the car and just before bed. I'll make an effort to pray for the first 15 minutes of my daily drive, and put away the phone in the minutes before I sleep - all part of an effort to be intentional with my time, whether toward my career or toward my Christ.

This is likely the first of several posts pertaining to my conversation with this man, a completely unexpected, but potentially groundbreaking hour. It's gotten me more excited for my future, and given me a better vision for how to accomplish the lofty goals I've set on the back burner for so long. More to come.

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