When lockdowns restricted us from face to face schooling, working, and meeting as part of precautionary measures to lessen the spread of covid–19, most of us struggled to manage our time without direct supervision that we used to get. Don’t we desire progress even during these unusual times? We do, and this article brings fresh reflections for us to revalue and use time wisely, to the glory of God, and the best of our lives.
What is time?
It is great for us to rethink beyond common knowledge that seconds make up minutes, minutes build up hours, bringing out days, weeks, months and years. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says “…the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.” It portrays that everyone is given time which bears results if utilized. Wise king Solomon presented time as a gift from God.
How do we value gifts from our beloveds? We salivate at them, hold close and keep them special. Here is sweet news – time is more special than all gifts we have ever received from our relatives, friends or neighbours. It is so because none of us owns a second! Time is owned by God. Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 outlines that God gave everything time. That means time fully belongs to God.
What do we do with this special gift? Should we be idle and ill’ time since we are no longer likely to write examinations early due to coronavirus? Should we try some romantic experiments with friends to curb lockdown boredom? The greatest mind of time shows up in our Lord Jesus Christ. In John 9:4, He said, “we must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day, for night comes when no man can work”. Jesus Christ valued time as so special that He did not waste it. He taught His disciples that one’s purpose must carry the day. It is wise for us to always bear in mind why we are wherever we are, and prayerfully use time wisely.
What does the world say about time?
We have often heard that ‘time is money’. Those who say time is money mean that time is precious like money. They argue that what we do with our time can profit us correspondingly. Sounds sensible isn’t it? But, behold, is time really equal to money? I submit that time is more valuable than money. If we get hundred US dollars and use it irresponsibly, we can work somehow and raise it. If we waste any time, we cannot regain it. We therefore need to revalue time as more valuable than money.
There is a saying that ‘there is no hurry in Africa’. It implies that we have no urgency. Somewhat corrupted by such thinking, many of us appear unapologetic when late. Take lateness to church, for example; isn’t that being irresponsible to God? If we don’t honor it for its owner, shouldn’t we rethink, and honor Him by respecting and using it wisely?
How best can we use time?
The following ways are not comprehensive, and not conclusive, but suggestive views which we need to develop and add to more others that we will realize as God helps us ahead.
1. Prioritizing what is most important
The story of Martha and Marry hosting Jesus Christ shows Martha appearing irritated that her sister Mary gave attention to Jesus Christ instead of helping her in preparing food. In Luke 10:41, Jesus Christ said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion…” What was most important there was giving attention to the Lord. There are times that we choose to attend to what we want to do when we need to give full attention to our Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes we get busy in times set for service, or Bible Study. It is wise for us to always pray that God helps us to identify and attend to what is most important at a particular time.
2. Keeping our departure in mind
Psalm 39:4-6 presents that we are not immortal like God. Just as Job 14:1–5 relatively speaks, we have set time on earth. Knowing this provokes our thoughts on how we use time. While God can graciously give us long life, keeping in mind that we are not here for ever helps us to live responsibly. None of us has a bank of time to withdraw some more when departure time for us to go home to be with our Lord comes. We ought to use our God–given time in manners that please Him as Ephesians 5:8–10 says, “for once you were in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light, for the fruit of light is found in all that is good, right and true, and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
An old saying that ‘failure to plan is planning to fail’ is wise in our revaluing of time. Planning guides us to focus on our targets for positive results. As plans can be poorly done, advice from mature believers can help us to make achievable plans worth to commit time on. Proverbs 20:18 says that “plans are established by counsel…” It tells that advice enables us to plan successfully. Essentially, wise planning engages God as Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established”. With counsel and prayer, plans get realized.
Time is a special gift from God that we should cherish and use wisely. This article sought to challenge and encourage us to rethink, revalue time and pray that God helps us to take it with its high importance for God’s glory, and the best of our lives.