I have an app on my phone that records a series of personal data. As I run, it logs my GPS location data, time, and heart rate. I can even input my weight to see how my health and overall fitness are progressing (or regressing!). Looking at this data can be fascinating. There is even quantifiedself.com, a site which focuses on increasing personal awareness by logging and analyzing personal data. The insights gained from this data may supposedly lead to a more fulfilling life. People track all sorts of things—sleep, heart rate, blood pressure, and weight. Some even record detailed information about their schedules, including the amount of time they spend using each program on their computers.
In Ephesians 5:15-16, Paul exhorts Christians: “Look carefully then at how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Paul had his own thoughts about accounting for our time. Now I don’t believe Paul is urging us specifically to load up on bio-sensors or buy a pedometer, but he does call us to account for our time. And by implication, he calls us to be more mindful in how we spend it.
How might our behavior change if we had a detailed record of how every minute was spent? How much of our week is lost simply to carelessness? We ought to be more intentional with our time—doing the things the Lord desires for us to do. He has laid out a path for our lives so that we would walk in it (cf. Eph 2:10). While the Quantified Self may be helpful in some cases, the Righteous Walk is helpful in all.