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Summer Time

A couple weeks ago my wife and I introduced our kids to Aladdin. There’s a middle eastern man in our church and we told the kids, “This is Aladdin. He has an interesting story about a genie and magic carpet you might like to hear.” That’s so NOT true.

We introduced our kids to the classic, Walt Disney masterpiece, “Aladdin.”

Surely you remember the song, “I can show you the world, shining, shimmering, splendid, tell me princess now when did you last let your heart decide…” Or perhaps, “Prince Ali - mighty is he - Ali Ababwa. Strong as ten regular men definitely.”

I don’t care who you are, those are catchy tunes.

Now, if you’ve seen seen Aladdin, you might recall in the final battle sequence Jafar traps Princess Jasmine in an hour glass in an effort to suffocate her and force Aladdin to decide, “Do I save her, or keep fighting Jafar?”

In case you’ve been living underground or you’re under age 25 and haven’t seen Aladdin, I won’t tell you what happens, but here’s why I bring it up: I think there are a couple of things we can learn from the hour glass:

1. If we allow it to, time can have a strangle hold on us.

For example, have you ever thought to yourself, “There’s just not enough time in the day. I’m too busy. I wish I could add a few hours to my day.”? Or have you ever looked at your kids and wondered, “Where did the time go? I wish I could’ve done this or this while they were still young…”?

Regret can be suffocating.

2. Time always takes the path of least resistance.

Just like the sands of an hour glass traveling down hill (the path of least resistance) so too can your time slip away. Think about it. How often do you get distracted with things that don’t really matter? Despite your ridiculously “busy” schedule, you still have time to check on your fantasy football team, binge on your favorite Netflix show, and save the world in your favorite video game. Not to mention the 3 hours a day you spend on social media.

That happens because your time will always take the path of least resistance. You’ll always drift towards easy.

I just finished reading the book, “Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win”. And while the entire book was practical and helpful, chapter 12 was especially convicting. It’s titled, Discipline Equals Freedom. The premise essentially is, time won’t ever find you, you have to find it.

In other words, if you want the freedom and luxury of having more time, than you need to have the discipline to make time. Get up early, cut lunch short, skip Game of Thrones one night. Time only goes where you tell it, and by nature we drift towards convenience.

In a recent blog post, one of the guys I like to read (John Acuff) challenged his readers to “DO Summer” (you can read about it here: http://acuff.me/2016/06/are-you-ready-to-do-summer-again/) In short, you need to pick one skill to work on (no more regrets) and work on that skill for 1500 minutes, in 15-minute increments (make time).

I would issue the same challenge to each of you.

Create time, have discipline, find freedom, and enjoy your summer (and beyond).