Creating a God First Schedule

August 15, 2014

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An interview with pastor Bill Hybels on the secrets for living life with more energy, focus, and peace. Bill is the author of Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul.

BILL HYBELS:  One never drifts into becoming more the person that you feel God wants you to become. You actually have to declare that you want to become that new kind of person. And in my way of thinking, one of the best ways to declare it is to put it on your schedule.

What’s causing you all kinds of anxiety that if you took some schedule steps could relieve that anxiety? My word of counsel all the time, is just don’t put a schedule together too quickly. Take your time. Be prayerful about it.

Continually ask yourself, “What would a God-in-first-place schedule really look like in my life?”

Maybe you feel like your schedule has just gotten out of control and it’s unfixable; it’s unsolvable. There’s too many moving pieces in your life; you’re overcommitted. You’re exhausted and you don’t even know if you have the energy to try to fix all of this.

Gang, don’t forget God is for you. God is for you. And if you’ll take a step of faith – just take a couple of hours. Get off by yourself and ask the question, “Who do I want to become?” “What craziness do I want eradicate from my life?”

Slowly but surely, the Holy Spirit will give you ideas. And you can look at each day of your week and say, “How can I live it a little more sanely?” “What has to go?” “What has to be re-prioritized?” “What do I need to say goodbye to?” “What do I need to say hello to?”

If you’ll just give this a shot and take a faltering first step, you’ll experience some progress. And when you get the motivation of some progress under your belt, then you can make modifications. And then you’ll get it more fine-tuned as the weeks and months go on.

And pretty soon you’ll be done with the craziness. Pretty soon, you’ll be in route to be the kind of person that you know God wants you to become.

See Part 1, Running on Empty? from our interview with pastor Bill Hybels. 

Running on Empty?

August 1, 2014

An interview with pastor Bill Hybels on the secrets for living life with more energy, focus, and peace. Bill is the author of Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul.

BILL HYBELS:  Often in my mentoring sessions, I’ll take a flip chart and a real thick pen and I’ll draw my infamous bucket. And I’ll ask people if their life buckets are filled to the top? If they’re filled with the love of God and the love of family? If they’re well-rested. If they’ve been exercising. And if they’re sort of refreshed or replenished in multiple ways.

I’ll say, “What is life like when you’re living it with a full bucket?” And people will say, “Well, I make my best decisions when my bucket is full.” And I go, “Yeah, me too.” And they’ll say, “I do my best thinking and praying and loving when my bucket’s full.” And I say, “I do too!”

And then to have a little fun, I’ll say, “So let’s talk about when your bucket is empty. When you’re distant from God. When you have some family riffs that are unresolved. And let’s say that your diet and exercise have not been going very well, and you’re depleted in a whole number of different ways.

What’s your life like in a depleted form? And then all of the consequences come out. They’ll say, “I’m easily irritated.” Or they’ll say, “I isolate” or “I turn into a working machine.” Or sometimes people will say, “I just want to escape from reality.” The list goes on and on of the consequences associated with living life in a depleted state.

So the question becomes – whose responsibility is it to make the kinds of choices on a day-to-day basis that keeps your bucket full? Might that be your job for your life? Might that be my job for my life?

We make the choices on a day-to-day basis to either live filled up, or we make the choices that result in us living depleted lives. Ask yourself, “Why do I let myself get this depleted? What drives me, really?” Ask God to give you insight into what’s underneath your propensity for running on empty. When you’re living this way, what inner hunger are you feeding that should be fed in healthier ways? Is there someone you’re trying to please?

I encourage you to take an honest assessment and then design a custom replenishment plan that fits you.

See Part 2, Creating a God First Schedule from our interview with pastor Bill Hybels.