THE PASSERBY | Love-inspired time management

By Fr. Roy Cimagala
Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE)
Talamban, Cebu City

IT is quite clear, especially these days with so many developments to cope, that managing our time, which is a very precious resource, has become a basic necessity. In fact, time management has become some kind of a rocket science that is constantly studied, researched on, updated and offered as a course, especially in business and engineering schools.

Many people are now taught the skills of consciously controlling the time spent on specific activities if only to increase effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. 

These skills can include prioritizing, delegation, decision-making, goal-setting, multitasking, problem solving, strategic thinking, scheduling, record keeping, etc.

These are all wonderful things to learn, and we should encourage everyone to acquire these skills. But there’s just one thing we have to be clear about. It’s a very fundamental thing, disregarding which would just put to nothing whatever scientific skills we can learn in this field.

We should see to it that all this concern for time management be properly motivated by love. And I mean the real love, not just any kind of love, that is not properly grounded and oriented toward the ultimate goal of human life.

We have to be clear that our time here on earth is a time of transit toward eternity, from where we came and to where we are heading. That’s because we are creatures of God who is in eternity. We came from him, and since we have been created in his image and likeness, we are meant to be with him in all eternity also.

We therefore need to be eternity-ready in our time here on earth. And we can approximate that state of life and prepare ourselves for it by trying to be with God always, following his will and ways as we go through the drama of our earthly life. This is what true love is all about, which is the essence and purpose of our life here on earth. 

Another way of saying this point is that our time here on earth is supposed to head to its fullness and perfection when it fully reconnects with the eternity of God. At the moment, our time is still in some tentative condition insofar as its relation to the eternity of God is concerned. It is our responsibility, with God’s grace, of
course, to connect our time to God’s eternity.

Linking time with eternity is first of all a matter of the belief that there is God and that he is our creator who gives us our existence, and that he continually, without any gap or break, is intervening in our life out of sheer love for us. We have to
correspond to that love of God for us with love also. Thus, the use of time can only be considered as good and proper when motivated by that love.

We have to be more aware of this truth, and more importantly, know how to deal with it. We often take it for granted, or worse, we can think that our life can just be on our own, completely dependent on what and how we make it to be. We have to overcome this mentality.

Or we can think that we can be with God at some time and can be on our own at other times. We also need to outgrow this mentality, because it simply does not correspond to the reality shown to us by our Christian faith. True, it’s not easy. There’s a deep and vast awkwardness especially in the beginning. But it’s not a problem that cannot be solved.

To achieve a constant awareness of God’s presence and intervention in our life, we need to exert the effort to pray and to reach what is called a contemplative lifestyle even in the hustle and bustle of the world.

This is when we can truly say that we are having a love-inspired time management!