The Daily Memo | March 16, 2023 | The 90/10 Rule


I was reading an excerpt from Gordon MacDonald’s book, Ordering Your Private World. In Chapter 6, Has Anyone Seen My Time? I’ve Misplaced It!, he writes, “The central principle of all personal organization of time is simple: time must be budgeted!”

As I read on, he cites many examples of how Christ operated with practical methods of organization. It got me thinking even further about the percentage of His time on earth that was invested in public ministry. From what the Bible chronicles it adds up to about 10% of His human life. Fascinating. My further deduction was that 90% of His life was largely unaccounted for in the scripture, but one might assume that time was spent in preparation for the 3 years we know much about.

I’m calling it the 90/10 Rule.

MacDonald concurs, “There are thirty years of virtual silence before Jesus went public with His mission. Only when we are treated to an audience with Christ in eternity will we fully understand the importance of those three decades. At best, we can now conclude that they were a significant time of preparation. It is impressive to realize that there were thirty years of relative obscurity and privacy in preparation for three years of important activity.”

Where else might we see the 90/10 rule played out in history as we learn from the Old and New Testaments? Moses spent forty years in the desert before confronting Pharaoh. Paul spent an extensive amount of time in the desert listening to God before assuming apostolic duties.

As I look back on much of my life I was being prepared to bring the gospel of healing to a broken world. Unlike Jesus, who likely knew His long-term assignment, I did not. I suspect you do not know what the future holds.

When I add up the years I’ve been alive and estimate the time I may have left, it feels like the 90/10 rule, with most of my life spent in preparation for such a time as this. I’m looking forward to what God has in this next season.

How about you?

And that’s the Memo. Steve



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