You Don’t “Have” Time. You Spend It.
Properly understanding your relationship to time is the first step to spending it wisely
How we spend our time very much reminds me of Noah building the ark. He had to weigh carefully how he spent his days. Much of those days were spent enduring ridicule from folks who thought water falling from the sky or covering the planet was the preposterous ravings of a crazy man. Nonetheless he spent his time doing as the Lord commanded. Spending the bulk of just under 100 years preparing.
We have very much the same calling that Noah did. To preach and teach the scriptures to shield men from God’s coming wrath when he returns. While we don’t know when Jesus will return, we do have the opportunity to choose what we do with our time daily to prepare. What we decide to do with our time greatly affects how we treat our relationship with Jesus, his church and each other.
We are time travellers forced to move from one day to the next without any chance of going back or moving faster forward.
There’s this false truth that many of us believe by default that we have all this time saved for later. The sad truth is that you really cannot “save time”. You cannot put it in a storage box and pick it up again later. We have no power over the sun rising and setting. While it is great to plan ahead, we must not do so without acknowledging just how little control we have over time.
Storing time to do things later is often just an excuse to exercise procrastination
Many of us only attend church services once a week and often come late and leave early because we think we that’s enough “time spent” with God. We say “I’ll do more for God later” as if we can store that time in a box like a pair of shoes and pull them out at the right time. On the flip-side we’ll spend hours trying to figure out what movie to watch on Netflix and then spend 2 minutes in prayer or not at all because we say we don’t have enough time. This is one of the principle reasons that 80% of the work done in churches is done by only 20% of the people. The majority of church members are too busy trying to store time to start serving as a false excuse to allow them to spend time pursuing their own worldly agenda.
Everything you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.
In reality, time is not something you have, it is simply spent. Any thoughts contrary puts us on a path where God is dethroned as the one who controls the times and seasons in exchange for the phony belief that you are somehow a time traveler that can revisit the past and predict the future. If time was something that could be stored for later, there would be a whole lot more in-shape, healthy people on this planet who have decided to start going to the gym “next week.”
Now please understand that I am not against planning ahead. Running the media department at my church constantly requires me to plan projects many months ahead. That being said, it often can become easy for us to become so focused on planning our lives that we forget that every moment is time spent that cannot be redeemed and we cannot see the future anyway. There is no “DeLorean” that can take you back to do things over. This is why the scriptures urge us to trust in the Lord and not on our misguided narrow preceptions of the future (Prov. 3:5). This is exactly where many of us get into trouble. There’s a sense of urgency missing concerning the coming of the Lord although the signs are everywhere. The reason for this shown in the scripture below.
13 Look here, you people who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to such and such a town, stay there a year, and open up a profitable business.”14 How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog — now you see it; soon it is gone.15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 Otherwise you will be bragging about your own plans, and such self-confidence never pleases God.
The right attitude to have concerning the future is that it is the grace of God that allows you to see another day. Therefore our time ought to honor him by carrying out his purposes in the present. This is why the scriptures say urge to choose who will be your God today! (Josh. 24:15)
Maybe, if we spent less energy trying to store time while dreaming about being rich, famous and in shape in an uncertain make-believe future and instead spend more time in the right places in the present, we may be better prepared in doing what God has called us to and be more successful in this world in the process. Noah spent the bulk of the his “present day” time preparing the way for man’s salvation from God’s wrath. He knew that making choices in the present was of the upmost importance. There was no time to think otherwise. He took every time and chance he had to prepare. I imagine if we had more of that mentally concerning the return of the Lord, our lives would be quite different. The life issues that unexpectedly pop up may not stress us out as much with a mindset that understands the coming of the Lord is sure and can happen in the present. The church would not struggle to find people who would be willing to spend their time laboring for the work of the Lord. This mode of thinking can easily be applied to other areas of our lives as well. If you want to lose weight, gain weight or learn a new skill, the decisions you make right now are the key. You can plan ahead in your brain as much as you want but those goals will never become fruitful until you begin making choices with the present in mind.
Choices are never made in the past or future, only in the present.
Right now as you are reading this, stop thinking about what you think “you have to do” later today, next week or next year. Consider this moment right now. How best can you spend your time? How best can you honor God with your time right now? How best can you improve your own life and those around you at this very moment? In reality, the only time and chance you have is “now” and “now” will be gone before you know it.
Again I looked throughout the earth and saw that the swiftest person does not always win the race, nor the strongest man the battle, and that wise men are often poor, and skillful men are not necessarily famous; but it is all by chance, by happening to be at the right place at the right time.
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