Time Savers, Life Takers

Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken

You have the watch, we have the time
–African proverb

Well, Apple has the watch anyway! Mac has taken a bite out of the apple with its heart measuring, health monitoring, run pacing—and, oh yeah, time telling—watch.

There’s a whole new world of time savers available in any language from IOS to Android to Windows.  And there’s all those other tech time savers like DVRs, online banking, texting, caller ID, and navigational tools, Yes, and Evernote and Dropbox too, both of which have cost me more time trying to figure out how to use than they ever saved me.

That’s my problem, I’m sure, but I really don’t like wasting time to save time. Of course, there are multiple to do programs and e-calendars as well as e-dictionaries and e-lexicons. Recently I watched a TED talk by David Pogue, of the New York Times, that listed a number of computer time savers, and that was helpful. I could tell it was helpful because 4,307,789 people viewed it. Impressive.

But here’s my question: do these time savers help us where we need it the most?

Tech time savers are good, but how do they help us deal with the life takers we face? Claudia Chan, in her July 21, 2015 Entrepreneur magazine article entitled “5 Practices to Gain More Time and Master Productivity,” moved in the direction I’m going when she talked about the “mind enemies” we face: struggles like comparison, self criticism, self-imposed success demands, and expectations.

Interesting, isn’t it?  We save all kinds of time in the name of productivity, but we waste that time in an unintended pursuit of mortality. We don’t plan to do this; we just do it. Many of us don’t use the time we save to add to our walk with God or our love for our families or our supportive friendships or serving our neighbors.

We have smart watches, but do we also have smart hearts that transform the tech time we save into love-time that refreshes and energizes us for a lifetime? If not we increase our heart rate, raise our blood pressure, shorten our lives, and add to the death count, all because we have the watch, but we don’t have the time.

So let’s take those smart watches and those brilliant apps and those awesome shortcuts and transform them into time to meditate on God’s truth and cogitate on His grace and ruminate on His love so we can deliberate on His will and eliminate our stressors and facilitate our refreshers and relate to each other lest we stagnate on Facebook before anyone even notices, although we know that it won’t take long to invalidate us–just a few key strokes, and we’re gone.

The Africans are right, you know. We have the watch. Maybe we should get smart and make sure we have the time.

From "Time Savers, Life Takers" on Broken Leadership Blog is about changing the leadership conversation from what we are doing with our hands to what God is doing through our hearts.


Bill Lawrence is the President of Leader Formation International, Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he served full-time for twenty-four years (1981-2005). During this time he also was the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership for twelve years.