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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Six Words

A few years back I heard about the Six Words initiative by Smith Magazine. I didn't read about it directly, and it seems I may have misunderstood the plan. Apparently they wanted six-word sentences to encapsulate a memoir. I used it more as an exercise to find six words as categories into which I could put everything else.

The number six also reminded me of the six days of Creation, so I also tried to organize them in an environment and filling pattern.

1. Word — As we sing in Awana Clubs, build your life on the word of God. This includes reading the word, memorizing it, studying it, etc.

2. Lead — As we learned in Summit, leaders are readers. This is mostly about leadership preparation, specifically reading books.

3. Form — This is the category for work. “If a man doesn't work, he doesn't eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). “Develop your business first before building your house” (Proverbs 24:27). Work and making a living are essential to being able to do everything else, so I borrowed the word from the creation pattern observation. However, it's subordinate to living a life to honor God, so that's why it's not first.

4. People — For some people, relationships come naturally, and they may even think of all of life in terms of the people around us. For others of us, perhaps of a more introverted nature, time with people is more distinct.

5. Freedom — Jesus came to set people free. This also should extend to the civic realm, so I mostly include any government awareness or political activity in this category.

6. Screen — This is a catch-all category for when I spend time using a screen with no other specific purpose. Back in the day this included email and social media, specifically Twitter. I've dialed that back a lot, so it's not as dominant as it once was. I agree with the Amazon marketing that Kindle time counts as lead/read time, not screen time.

Just as the things created during the second three days of Creation filled things in the first three, so I tried to make that pattern work here, too. Relationships are best built on the Word of God. Freedom comes when we have leaders who have a good solid foundation. Eventually I may be able to make a living with something nearly 100 percent screen-based.

Of course, there are other things that happen in a day that are not as defined (or undefined) in their purpose, but yet still take up time. I use a couple other words for those categories.

Day — In addition to needing a good nine hours of sleep, I find that I need a couple hours of margin on both ends of my day. In the morning, for Day In, I'm one of those people that wakes up hungry, so a good breakfast is essential. Daily Bible reading still counts as Word time, but its part of the 1.5 to 2 hours I need in the morning to have a consistent start to my day. While my Day Out routine is quite short by comparison, 15 minutes, I still find that it takes a couple hours to wind down from when I get home to when I go to bed. I'm trying to avoid evening activities in order to maintain an earlier schedule.

Move — This is for when I'm moving from place to place, usually driving. I've also included exercise in this activity. I tried exercising for a while this summer. While Dr. Joel Hunter, the ophthalmologist, thinks President Trump's exercise philosophy of a fixed amount of energy per day is “medically incorrect,” I actually found it to be true, or at least practical. Exercise did not have an energizing effect, and instead took away from my prime morning time. Maybe someday I'll make an attempt to exercise in the afternoon. I also included eating in the Move category as it seemed related. I'm more of an eat-to-live person rather than a live-to-eat person.

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