BOOK THREE – Angel’s Story
THE FIRST PRINCIPLE: Prayerwork
from The One Minute Minister: Restoring Spirituality to Time Management
“The underlying foundation of these one minute concepts is that how you invest your time and energy controls the results you are receiving. You are after all reaping today what you sowed in previous days. If you don’t like what you are reaping, then you need to pay attention to what you are sowing in your life. That’s why everyone who doesn’t have a supervisor constantly telling them what to do has some sort of system to manage their activities. What do you use?”
“Well, I have a calendar on my desk. Somewhere. And I make to do lists.”
“Do you like the results you are getting with that system?”
“No,” he admitted.
“In a bad system, outside events control you; in a good system, you know what seed is best to sow in the present.”
“Then I have a bad system,” he admitted. “I don’t like the results.”
“Your own time management system is a very personal choice. Mine is rather unusual, but historically significant. I keep a journal, in the manner that John Wesley did.”
“The founder of the Methodists?”
“Yes, exactly.” She opened her purse and took out a bound notebook of the type one would buy in a business store for accounting. It said Record on the front and held lined pages like a notebook. “John Wesley would record his daily activities in the front of the book, and keep his accounts in the back. When the two met in the middle, he would start a new book.”
“I’ve tried journaling, but haven’t been able to stick with it.”
“Once it is a habit, anything is easy. I do three simple things in journaling.”
“First, I often use Julie Cameron’s method which she calls ’Daily Pages.’ When I get up in the morning, I just write anything that comes to my mind until I fill three pages.” She briefly showed him pages filled with doodles and little paragraphs of thoughts. “And of course, I am praying during this time as well.”
“Second, I use Bill Hybels’ concept of reflecting on yesterday in my daily pages. At the top of the page I write “Yesterday?” What I write after that may have nothing to do with yesterday – it depends on where my prayers take me. But frequently I have significant insights that are very valuable to me.”
“Third,” she opened to a page marked with a paper clip and headed by the question, Today? “I keep a to-do list on two pages – left page for vital 20% and right page for everything else. When the crossed out items get too disorganized, I recopy the remaining tasks to a new list further on in the book.”
“Why is time management so important?”
“It’s not really time management. It’s life management. When the clock is ticking it’s ticking away your life. Tick, tock. And 80% of your life is poorly invested.”
“One other thing about Bill Hybels’ method,” Angel continued. “He writes a prayer that reflects his understanding of his time with God in journaling, then kneels and prays it. The prayer is a record of his time with God. This is not about journaling or writing; it’s a way to create time with God that is focused and meaningful, and then allow that time with God to create a life that is focused and meaningful.”
“What appeals to you, then?” she asked. “The loose freedom of ‘daily pages’ or focusing on yesterday with a concluding prayer?”
“Let me think about it.”
“Think all you want; invent your own way. Develop your own questions; “Yesterday?” and “Today?” are simple enough for me. But in the next seven days find some way to practice the methods you choose. Don’t just think; experiment a little”
Julia Cameron, The Artist’ Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.
Bill Hybels, Too Busy Not To Pray.
What time management system do you use now to keep track of dates and asks?
Would you say it is working for you?
Have you ever tried to journal? How was that experience?
Homework: try Julia Cameron’s method, which is called daily pages or morning pages. Take 3 pages and write on them until they are full with whatever comes first to your mind. Lists are okay. Doodling is okay. What is the weather? What did you eat? Just fill up 3 pages.
Consider writing a prayer for the day ahead, utilizing ideas out of what your three pages say about your day.