During my time pursuing a master’s in theology, I came across an interesting concept. The Triangle Theory is a Time Management exercise to help examine where your time on earth is spent. If you draw an isosceles triangle on a blank page of paper, the bottom represents 24 hours in a day. Depending upon your sleep schedule, 1/3 or 1/4 of your life is spent sleeping. School or work will take over 8-10 hours per day, leaving a few precious hours to enjoy life, purse passions or relax. If you want a true barometer of how your time is spent, keep track of 16-18 hours each weekend that most Americans have.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run [their very best to win], but only one receives the prize? Run [your race] in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours! 25 Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things. They do it to win a crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither], 1 Corinthians 9:24-25.
Last year I took my family out to lunch, explaining the Triangle Theory as we waited for our food. Without being too anal, I urged my children to begin to keep track of how they are currently investing their free time. The purpose of this discussion was to encourage my daughter and youngest son to become vision oriented, focusing their attention and time on fulfilling dreams. Not leaving myself exempt from this, I began to share the sacrifices that I need to make to write a 100 page movie script each winter, usually lasting until late spring. Despite how diligent I try to be, I regularly waste an entire weekend to indulge my human nature rather than focus on becoming an accomplished screen writer.
Therefore I do not run without a definite goal; I do not flail around like one beating the air [just shadow boxing]. 27 But [like a boxer] I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service], 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.
One troubling question remains, if I truly want to pursue a career in writing, why do I waste so much time? Perhaps, my former hobby as a long distance runner may help answer my own question. The thought of running miles never made sense to most of my friends. Running is a battle of the body and mind, causing most to quit before the love of running is conceived. The apostle Paul uses a similar analogy, stressing the strict discipline to persist until your ultimate goal is achieved. While its not easy and you will have more failures than success, may the Triangle Theory serve as a tool to enable you to seize the free time that you have each day. May you run in such a way, suffering now, as to receive crowns in heaven God has set aside for you.
by Jay Mankus