“Time is lost when we have not lived a full human life, time unenriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment, and suffering.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The march of time is relentless and unforgiving. It doesn’t have tolerance or sympathy for those who can’t keep up or don’t know how to use it without regrets. There’s never more when you need it. There are no extras, no hand outs and definitely no bonuses. And time doesn’t care if you are running out of time. It just keeps marking out a steady beat. Tick. Tick. Tick. It keeps marching on and someday, will pass us by. Time is not our friend. But given that, how do we make time less of an enemy? How can we use our time wisely today and wiser tomorrow?
Because we are stewards of all God has given us, we should use our time wisely. Ephesians 5: 16 (ESV) says, “making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Making the most of our time makes sense because our time is limited. If you live 90 years, that’s 32,850 days. If you are 20 today, you will have 25,550 days left until you are 90. Using our time wisely does not necessarily mean we need to squeeze as much as we can into a day. Being busy does not imply you are using time wisely. People tend to think that way – especially in a time when staying up late, sleeping, rushing to the next stop, and grabbing fast food along the way is seen as normal. We want to get too much done in the least amount of time.
Jesus on the other hand never seemed in a hurry even though He knew His time was limited. He found time to consider the flowers and the birds of the air. (Matthew 6:26-30) He had time to put his hands on the little children and bless them. (Mark 10:16) Jesus had all the time He needed to accomplish His mission. And so do we.
We need to live a purpose-driven life, not a time-driven life. Because what is truly important is not how much time we have but what we do with the time we have. A. W. Tozer wrote: “Time is a resource that is non-renewable and non-transferable. You cannot store it, slow it up, hold it up, divide it up or give it up. You can’t hoard it up or save it for a rainy day…”
Theologian Jonathan Edwards understood Paul’s charge to make the best use of our time. He wrote “Resolved: Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can. Resolved: to live with all my might while I do live. Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better.”
In other words use our time to “…press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:14).
- Do you see time as an enemy?
- What can we do this week to set aside quality time for God?
- What can we do to make effective use of our time as an integral part of our decision-making process?