I don’t know if it’s the fact I’m approaching 50, or a matter of what I’ve been learning, but I keep getting smacked in the face with the importance of being aware of how we spend our time. Nothing is so valuable as time, because we cannot ever get back what we spend, we can’t borrow more when we need it, and we can never acquire more once it’s gone.
Yet it appears time is the resource with which we are least responsible. We count our pennies, mind our career, and nurture relationships, but time is an afterthought. We’ve gotten this backwards. Nothing is more important to steward than the time God has given us on earth.
The awareness of the brevity of time is not a new revelation. Around 3,000 years ago, King David wrote in Psalm 39, “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure”. Time is fleeting. We have but a few short breaths to make our life count. It is our responsibility, our God-given mission, to make each of those breaths count for Him. God created us for a purpose (Ephesians 2:10), and I guarantee you, this purpose is not to fritter our time away on vain and selfish pursuits.
The apostle Paul warned us to pay careful attention to how we spend our time, and to make the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:15-16). I encourage each of us to pause and ask ourselves how we are doing in this area. I’ll ask myself these questions as I pose them to you. Are you paying careful attention to how you spend your time? To ask it another way, are you living your days with intention or letting them come as they may? Second question: Are you making the most of every opportunity? Again, are you walking away from the openings God places in your path? Every day we have the chance and privilege to serve others. We can choose God or choose ourselves.
Each morning we wake, we have the opportunity to spend the next 24 hours serving God… or not. Satan would prefer we continue to live off mission. The surest way to be certain you are off mission is to spend your time pursuing comfort, pleasure, success, reputation, and safety. In other words, live your life without intention or discipline.
You choose to maximize your time. No one gets to choose for you. Only you can decide how to spend the time God has entrusted to you. No matter what we are doing, we can use our thoughts and actions to further the Kingdom of God. There is no circumstance in which you cannot choose to use the time to glorify Christ. We are His ambassadors, called to reflect His light and truth to a dying and desperate world. We maximize our time when we make each moment about Him instead of us. Are you ready, are you willing, to maximize your time for Jesus?