The 26 Hour Day

I posted the other day about the hectic schedules we commit ourselves to and wouldn’t it be great if there were 26 hours in a day. This got me wondering what I would do if this were indeed the case and God suddenly decided to shoehorn another 120 minutes into our daily cycles. Would it magically resolve our time management issues or would we simply fill the additional space with more irrelevant and stressful clutter.

On the surface it seems like a great concept. Imagine an extra two hours in bed for a start? I could write more as well. At the minute I struggle to post on a daily basis but this would allow me time to post more often and in greater detail. I could also read more of my fellow bloggers’ posts and interact with the good people of WordPress. There is also the small matter of a novel  which I am currently mulling over.


I could run more, get to grips with my bottomless in tray and possibly even start doing some of the many jobs that need attended to around our house. I have so many books to read and Netflix shows to binge watch. The more I thought about it the more excited I got about the idea of a 26 hour day. It literally would be the solution to all my problems. Dear God please get it sorted. Thanks – Stephen.

Then I stopped dead in my tracks. I realised that every activity I had dreamt up had a common theme running through it. That theme was selfish old me. I was planning to exclusively fill the extra time with projects that related to myself and not others. It was all about me, myself and I. Once again  the world was revolving around Stephen.

I hadn’t once thought about using the time to help others; be it my family, friends or complete strangers. What about devoting the time to community work or simply spending it with Fionnuala and the kids. And er…..don’t forget about God. Shouldn’t you be spending more time praying, studying your Bible and trying to live out the teachings of Jesus in a consistent and loving manner? 

We are taught to love yet I struggle to display love for 26 minutes, let alone 26 hours. Yet God is love. He is love 24/7, 365 days a year (and 366 on a leap year). I fall so embarrassingly short of that basic requirement. Why? Because I am so preoccupied with my own selfish needs instead of the needs of others. I fail consistently to live a selfless life. And in doing so I am wasting my remaining days on this planet. 

When Jesus called his first disciples he chose four gruff fishermen who, no doubt, had a million and one other things to be getting on with rather than abandoning their livelihoods and following him. Yet they did it, without thinking about it. They decided (for Jesus did not force them) of their own free will to turn their backs on their earthly lives (the self) in order to devote their lives to Jesus and a life focused on the needs of others.

They killed the ‘self’ in order to’fish’. Self < fish. Jesus > Stephen. In order to follow the teachings of Jesus you need to kill the self. This is of course easier said than done. It involves a total rewriting of our default setting which is to look after numero uno. That is our ‘go to’ position, it is ingrained in our DNA. We are instinctively selfish creatures and look to protect and promote our own interests. We know no other way.

At the root of every sin is our own selfish thinking. We turn our backs on what God wants us to do and instead focus on what we want to do. In order to turn off the ‘me’ switch requires a conscious act of will. Day after day. Year after year. We need to train our minds to operate that way. It is difficult but it is possible. There are good habits and bad habits. 

I have made a career out of bad habits. I have kicked most of them bar my excessive Diet Coke consumption and nail biting (not connected by the way). We are so good at developing bad habits but less so at adopting good ones. We need to work at the latter and turn selflessness into a good habit. From that will flow love, compassion and generosity. 26 hours a day.

Matthew 4:19 – ‘Come, follow me’, Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’

What would you do with an extra two hours a day?

How do you overcome your selfish instincts?

What bad habits are you will to admit?

30 thoughts on “The 26 Hour Day

Add yours

  1. I really enjoyed reading this piece. I loved the turn around too. It goes to show how Great Our God is that He created the days to be just right for us given we follow His will for us and His purpose for our lives. Theres is so much more to life than the things we are self absorbed. One thing that usually helps me is thinking to myself is what I am doing glorifying God or not. I pray just like the Psalmist prayed to ‘search me and create in me a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within me..’ I think What would Yeshua want me to do now. I hope this encourages your walk too.. Have a blessed 24 hours of your day ☺

    Like

  2. When I read your busy schedule in the previous blog I realized that you are pressuring yourself. I don’t really think we need more time in each day. We just need to learn how to live each day. If we had 26 hours we would probably waste them just as we do now. You are right. If we used them for others our lives would be very different.

    Like

  3. I wonder if selfishness is the root of our sin nature and sin the fruit. Adam and eves original sin was based on a selfish desire to please themselves outside of Gods instructions…hmmmm now you got me wondering…if it isn’t the root…it’s definitely deeply imbedded in all human beings. The more selfish human will even place their wants above others lives (murderers, rapists etc) maybe that’s why Christ said love thy neighbor as thyself – because he knew how self serving we truly are. If we treated others with the same regard we do ourselves truly the world WOULD be a better place. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was actually going to talk about Adam & Eve in my post. I think selfishness is at the heart of all sin. We need to crucify the self on a daily basis. Otherwise our selfish desires will always be a barrier between God and ourselves. Social media is an example. It is all about promoting the self which then leads to sinful behaviour.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Some of my selfish instincts decreased when I simply lost the desire for them, and my desire for God, and a better way overruled them. It took time but gradually it did happen. 🙂 This was a very thought provoking piece!

    Like

      1. It was definitely a process, for sure. When I first started trying to switch between what I wanted to do, and knowing it wasn’t Christlike, I had to make a very conscious effort. Gradually, strength was given to overcome previous thoughts that would enter my mind for temptation. God showed me I had authority, and I could be strong enough in His Spirit to keep choosing Him. The flesh is weak, but the spirit IS willing, and as long as we are willing to set aside our past garments of selfishness, we can overcome what we once thought impossible. All because Christ makes these things possible. I joke with God telling Him, “I know Your middle name is Impossible.” 🙂 there’s nothing He can’t do!

        Like

  5. Two extra hours a day would 100% be devoted to laundry. Oh the clean, neatly folded and put away clothing I could have with two extra hours in my day!! Thank you for another great post. It is really easy for me to forget why I do this. It’s not for me, it’s for him, and for my family. Thanks for the reminder!

    Like

  6. Great thoughts, I know when I was thinking about it as I was reading, all my thoughts fell into the selfish category, too. A wake-up call for sure.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Have a great weekend.
    Blessings~

    Like

  7. add me to the selfish category – I would probably wish for 2 more extra hours! Procrastination is my issue – always putting off until tomorrow – something Scarlet O’Hara and I have in common.

    Like

  8. When I decided I needed to spend more time with God, I asked him to remind me during the day. He did do that. I am learning to recognize and not ignore his reminder. I stop what I’m doing and read a bit in the Bible or a book and pray, or I just pray.

    Yes, we are all basically selfish. It takes the Holy Spirit to change our hearts and minds. Also, I sometimes think God would like us to ask him, “What would you like me to do now?”

    Like

    1. Yes I’m trying to ask God to guide me more in my daily affairs. Even simple stuff like what my route should I take on my daily walk to work. I’ve done that in the past and he has guided me to homeless people who I haven’t seen in months.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Very thought provoking post! As I read it, I thought back on the day yesterday to check myself a bit. Did I help anyone?

    On a daily basis I try to take time out for others. Yesterday I had an impromptu session with my mentee who needed advice on her job search. I picked up some food and a Starbucks for my daughter and took it to her apartment because she has been sick all week. I sent a note to someone I don’t know at work to give her kudos for having the courage to share her story about struggling with mental health challenges.

    Yesterday was a good day. I wish I could say everyday is the same. I think if I were to start each day with the thought of serving in my mind I could do better.

    To be honest though one of my biggest challenges is not taking time for myself. If I had 2 more hours a day I would make sure I got my workout in or took a few moments to read a book and relax. I am pretty sure god would be cool with it ;).

    Like

  10. We all wish for more time. But I would like to point out, not all of your ideas were entirely selfish. One of your ideas was to use that extra two hours to write more blogs. With over a thousand followers, you’re obviously making an impact in people’s lives. That’s hardly selfish. I really enjoyed your insight. Thanks for sharing this!

    Like

  11. My first thought… OH! I’ll spend more alone time with Jesus. I’m afraid of every moment when I have to go out into the world (what feels like leaving His side) because I KNOW I will not be perfect, and I hate sinning and letting Him down. It makes it look like Jesus isn’t enough, or like there is no point to spending time alone with Him.

    Like

  12. Good point! And also, I wonder if people have ever considered the opposite–what if we had 22-hour days and were wishing for 24 hours instead? Most likely we would end up filling it with something–we won’t even know what–and then wishing for 2 more hours, and so on and so forth. Better to take inventory of what we have and what our priorities are here and now…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: