Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Making the Most of the Time


Image by Caucas' via Flickr

Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk not as unwise people but as wise making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don't be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. And don't get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit
Ephesians 5:15-18 (HCSB)

This passages immediately proceeds the passage on marriage (Eph 5:22-32).  This morning I am reflecting on my own need to make the most of time.  It seems that it is easy for me to fall into the chaotic life of busyness and in the process become less effective and eventually neglect the things that are important and that are really worthy of my time.

In this passage we see God's time management system.  First we are called to pay attention.  So often we mindlessly go through our day without a thought of what we are doing.  We do it simply because something has demanded our attention, out of habit, or just because. 

Once we have paid attention then God calls us to walk wisely.  To be honest with you I continually have to work at this one (as I am sure most of us do).  The beginning of Wisdom is fear of the Lord (Prov 9:10).  When respect God as our sovereign Lord then we are on the right path in our walk.  Perhaps that is why days that I start with a time of meditation on His word, prayer, and/or reflection on God are much more satisfying than those days that I neglect these. 

Continuing on this road God calls us to make the most of the time.  So many things compete for my attention.  I also struggle with being a bit ADD.  So I get the added bonus that my mind tend to follow the rabbit trails of life to the point that I forget what I was doing in the first place.  The idea of making the most of time is that we are "buying back our time."  It seems that our time is a commodity that is sold, bought, and traded.  All to often I sell my time to some other cause, effort, purpose than the one that God has put on my heart.  This does not seem like a bad thing on the surface.  After all I am helping others most of the time.  However, it leads me to neglect.  I think also how many hours I have traded for mindless distraction and pursuit of things that do not bring my Lord honor.  Again some of them very worthy sounding on the surface, but none the less traded away. 

God Calls us to buy back (redeem) our time.  An action I can think of is redeeming a mail in rebate.  The form that the rebate has very little value until we get the the things together needed for the rebate (receipts, upc codes), fill out the form, and mail it in.  It also has an expiration at which the rebate becomes worthless if not acted on.  In the same way our time only has value when we get our things together and act according to what is needed.  If we don't act then time has very little value in and of itself.  Time also expires and becomes worthless when it is not acted on. 

God tells us to do this because the days are evil.  This seems confusing until you realize that the default is evil because time wasted is time lost.  Evil in the sense that they are decaying away and will never be again.  Evil in the sense that we are closer to meeting our maker.  Evil in the sense that we can no longer use a day gone by to do something that God has called us to.  Evil in the sense that our days can naturally be filled with hurtful, wasteful, unwholesome, hardship, difficult, and painful things.  It is only by redeeming time that we can turn these evils into something good.  God uses us to redeem time. 

This continues with two don'ts and two do's:
Don't be foolish
Don't get drunk
Do understand God's will
Do be filled with the Spirit

So how are you doing in redeeming the time? 

I think I need to work more effectively in this area.  Will you pray with me that God would lead us to redeem the time?

God Bless You!

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