My times are in your hands. Psalm 31:15 (NIV).
My graduate advisor was a time management consultant. He gave us so many helpful ideas about time, but there are two things that really stuck with me. First, time is an equal opportunity commodity—everyone has exactly the same amount, no more and no less. Secondly, we cannot manage time; we manage ourselves in relation to time. So these two little truisms pull the rug out from under our excuses for procrastination: I just didn’t have time or I’ll do it when I find the time. As if someone else has more time than we do…
Typically in our church year, we are called to look at those resources of which we are stewards: time, talent, treasure. Curiously, we seem to understand that talent and treasure are God’s, and we are his stewards. But when it comes to time, we take ownership and thoughtlessly speak of my time and parse the way we expend this trust. We guard our time and dare anyone to impose on it. Even God should not presume to infringe of this personal possession.
So we spend our time indulging ourselves in whatever manner we choose, but it really doesn’t matter how innocuous the activity if it diminishes God’s calling on our lives. We can spend hours in mindless personal entertainment (as opposed to re-creation) and feel empty and restless rather than refreshed and satisfied. Or we can daily, prayerfully ask God how we should expend the moments and hours he’s given us for his purposes. While we all have the same amount of time allotted, that time is finite and can joyously be invested in his Kingdom for eternal purposes.
What if we were to dedicate time to God as intentionally as we give him the talent and treasure he’s entrusted to us? Would we stop guarding it and daring people to infringe upon it? Might we find, just as treasure tends to be, that it is multiplied even as we freely commit it to our heavenly Father to use as he pleases?
I think it’s worth a try.
Father, at the start of this day, we commit these next twenty-four hours to you to use for your glory. Give us the discipline to embrace and prioritize our responsibilities, enjoy the leisure you provide, and not waste a single minute of your precious gift. In all that we do, help us to glorify you. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.