No More Frittering

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Another week, another challenge. I need more challenging…this has been very good for me.

“That you be totally committed to ministry, whatever your specific role, that you not fritter your time away on soaps or ladies magazines or aimless hobbies, any more than men should fritter theirs away on excessive sports or aimless diddling in the garage. That you redeem the time for Christ and his Kingdom.”

John Piper’s language in this one kills me. It really makes me want to use the word “fritter” in daily language more often.

But beyond the language, he definitely has a point. While neither soaps or ladies’ magazines have any draw for me (though I have been sucked into a reality show or two…guess those are  just soap operas for another generation), I do struggle with wasting time on insignificant things. Just last night I was talking to a friend about how to encourage her kids not to waste their summer days on television, video games, and the computer, when I had to admit that this was a struggle for me.

Personally, I find the less I watch TV, the less I want to watch it. That is, in part, why I’m choosing not to have internet at my new place. I’ll have cable though (included in my rent…I would have prefer just to have bunny ears!), but that’s not as much as a draw for me as I can’t choose to watch things on my own schedule like I’ve grown accustomed to online.

But I think that’s part of growing in wisdom…knowing when to remove things from your life to avoid temptation. For me, Internet is not a “need”…I work in front of a computer 40 hours a week and have a phone with Internet access.

Where else am I tempted to fritter time away? This is something I’ll definitely have to continue to reevaluate. I definitely spend time on the blog, but I’ve reduced that significantly over the last 6 months or so. Sure, my blog isn’t as popular as it once was (though it certainly was never “popular!”), I’m totally okay with that.  I feel like the balance I have with blogging now is what it should be.

So what should I be using my time for instead?

Ministry.

I’ve tried to realign my priorities to this end. It’s still a work in progress, but I do believe I’ve been improving. Since quitting AWANA in January to pursue more training in biblical counseling (they were at the same time, so I had to choose), I’ve been looking for another ministry opportunity. That opportunity fell into my lap last week: our church started a food pantry. You’re looking at the Saturday morning regular (you know, if you were looking at me!).

Between that and Sunday school, I feel like I have an appropriate amount of regular formal ministry. But informal ministry is important to, and something that is hard for me. I don’t like my schedule messed with, but this is an area I’m growing in. I’m single, so my schedule is rather flexible, even when I’m not. So I’m trying to be more proactive in seeking opportunities to serve others. Thanks to some growing relationships in my small group at church, those opportunities are definitely coming.

I think this is something that I will need to continue to work on for the rest of my life, and regularly reevaluate.

Photo by tsand

5 thoughts on “No More Frittering

  1. Informal ministry can definitely be difficult for someone who likes her personal, quiet time (present company included!). I find when everything else, including formal ministry, is in a more proper balance, that I have more energy and desire to engage others on a more casual basis. Hope you find it to be the same!

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