“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJV)
Time. Too much time, too little time, the wrong time, the right time, a hard time, a good time – all of these are issues we face in our lives. I also recently read a section from my daily devotional which specifically talked about redeeming the time given to us:
“These days we are bombarded with opportunities that entice us to invest our time and energy. Each day the voices of urgency cry out for every available moment. So many causes promise that time spent on them will reap great rewards; how can we recognize God’s voice among so many competing voices?
A fool makes unwise choices with his time. With every new opportunity that comes along, the fool chases off in a different direction, not questioning whether that is the best choice. The loudest voice gains his attention.” (Experiencing God Day by Day)
So, I definitely can identify with the fool here in this quote and this cuts me to the quick. I’d like to think of myself as someone who is discerning but, when it comes to how I choose to spend my time, maybe not so much?! Instead, I feel the tyranny of the urgent gets to me far too often. Yet, Charles Hummel, who coined that phrase, “tyranny of the urgent,” also said this: “Adequate time for daily waiting on God…is the only way I can escape the tyranny of the urgent.” (Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent)
Yet, this is a good solution in theory but often one which is hard to put into practice in reality. I think a lot of this for me is due to procrastination; I’ve just started reading a book by Glynnis Whitwer speaking to this very issue. In it she says this: “It’s not that we don’t get things done – we don’t get the right things done. The God-ordained things. The things that will make the most positive impact on our lives or the lives of those we love. And sometimes we delay addressing the highest and best callings on our lives. These are the things that cause the greatest regrets.” (Taming the To-Do List)
This same idea was also touched on further into the excerpt from my daily devotional, Experiencing God Day by Day:
“Often, it is not the evil pursuits that rob your time. Rather the temptation is to sacrifice what is best for what is good … [the enemy] will lure you with distractions, leaving you no time to carry out God’s will. He will tempt you to so fill your schedule with good things that you have no time for God’s best. You may inadvertently substitute religious activity for God’s will, pursuing your own goals for God’s kingdom instead of waiting for His assignment.”
God doesn’t merely want what is good for our lives but what is His best instead! I first learned about this concept in college and often quote a version of it to others going through various struggles. However, I don’t know that I’ve really ever applied it directly to how I choose to spend my time. It seems the combination of identifying recently with Blackaby’s devotional about how to redeem our time and now reading about the dangers of procrastination in Glynnis Whitwer’s book has brought it all to the forefront of my mind.
“There’s a snowball effect of delayed tasks. And as they accumulate, we are further from the life we want and from the person we want to be” (Taming the To-Do List). I know I don’t want to live my life in this way or keep feeling like I can identify with such a saying. I also don’t want to see myself as the fool from the earlier quote either, always running here and there and never seeking out God’s best for how to spend my time.
Lord, forgive me for not seeing more clearly this issue of time is something which is important and necessary for me to address. Help me to live more fully into the life you have for me and into the person you would have me become. In doing so, I pray that you will help me to recognize what is Your best for my time and not get distracted by the other “good” things which are crying out for my attention. Continue to mold and shape me in this area as I seek to redeem the time you have given me here on this earth.
**I’m linking up with Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart today. Click on the image below to find some other great posts from the linkup as well.**