“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”
–Ephesians 5:16 (NLT)
When I was a child, we lived out in the county. Since my friends lived a long way away, I didn’t have a chance to see them too often. So my substitute friend became the television. But once I became a Christian, there was a gradual shift in my priorities. I wish I could say this happened overnight, but it took several years. While I tried to use more of my time in a constructive manner, like prayer or Bible study, I often fell short. I knew that television might be perfectly okay for some people, but it had become an idol in my life.
Once I moved out of my parents’ house, things changed as far as transportation was concerned. Now I did use public transportation, but I found myself facing another dilemma. I had to make arrangements for rides, and if you’ve been in a similar situation, you know that this can be both time-consuming and expensive. I used to get frustrated and upset, because I had to check out bus schedules and plan out my rides at least a couple days in advance.
While I don’t pretend this has become a piece of cake by now, it has grown easier because God has taught me the same things over and over. So I’d like to share some of these little lessons with you, in the hope that they will bless and help you in your journey through life.
In order to do this, I would like to describe an incident I experienced. I was sitting there pulling my hair out one day, while waiting for my transportation to pick me up. I had been sitting there for a couple of hours, and I wondered where on earth my vehicle could be.
This incident happened several times during my life. Whenever this situation came up I grew more and more impatient, and I allowed frustration to get the upper hand. In other words, I let my circumstances dictate my feelings, and my emotions governed me. I had read the above verse many times, but I think my decision to follow it was more like making a New Year’s resolution that I could easily break at any time.
I feel like God spoke to me decisively, however, when I became a hospital chaplain. I say this because when you face life-and-death issues, He shows you in a new way how precious each moment really is.
The King James Bible talks about redeeming our time, which literally means buying it back. I believe redeeming your time means making the most of each moment, or using time in a creative way to glorify God. We all have the same 24 hours to fill, so I would challenge you to ask God how you can use your down-time in the most constructive way possible. You might want to think about it like this:
Suppose you were going out to a fancy restaurant. This means you might have to make reservations in advance, or pick out new clothes if you’re a woman. In any case, when the meal is served, you wouldn’t want to rush through it as though you were at a drive-through. Instead, you would savor your meal.
Time is much the same, my friend. We are not promised tomorrow, so we have to learn to savor each moment, taking up our crosses daily and following Jesus. This simply means searching the scriptures, and following what you understand God’s will to be for your life.
Spend some time alone with God, and ask Him to help you learn how to use your time wisely. You will be surprised by the opportunities that come your way, and you’ll fall more in love with our wonderful God as you give Him your time.
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