Driving in my car, I turned on the radio and heard the song, “Help is on the Way” by Toby Mac. As I listened closely to the lyrics, the phrase “He’s rolling up His sleeves again…” nearly knocked me back. I had literally done just that 2 seconds before those words were heard. True, this song was speaking of God rolling up his sleeves for us, but it goes both ways. For today, vigorous exercise was my immediate goal and sleeves being rolled up was a necessity. Long sleeves would slow me down, and having them hang loosely while covering my arms would not allow for fresh air to help keep me cool. So up they had gone in preparation for an intense workout.
Last night there was some extra time after dinner when the rest of the family were each doing their individual thing, so I chose to exercise on the elliptical machine while watching a movie downstairs. I only worked out for 1 mile, but still sat and watched the rest of the 2 hour movie. When it was done, I felt as though 2 hours of my day were just wasted. Regrettable. Again. But the Lord impressed on me that it is time to stop: stop wasting my time, stop playing so many games on my phone, stop making excuses or getting distracted so easily. Then He showed me I needed to start taking my limited time more seriously. It is a gift, and not one that should be so easily and regularly wasted. It is time I truly begin to roll up my puffy sleeves and get to work.
“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise…
she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.”
This world has provided us with a plethora of opportunities that will inevitably distract and/or entertain us, causing us to forego the more important things we could be doing, which would result in something of value. Netflix series, Wordle, or anything done excessively can and will take away from us using our valuable and limited time well. That’s not to say we shouldn’t do any of these things, but there must be a balance, or at least a limit.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
For me, I sense an urgency to spend more time seeking Him by studying in his Word, and by intentionally living every moment of each day by knowing He is in me and by my side. I am not guaranteed any further time here. It is a gift, it is precious. It is to be valued, therefore cherished. God has given me the freedom to choose: choose to play and not be concerned about the world around me, or choose to roll up my sleeves and get involved in the lives around me – by phone calls, visits, a loving hand that helps out, or accepts an offer to lunch, or regularly praying earnestly for those that are put on my path. This is my conviction, and it may not be yours. Yet, I feel compelled to share it with you in the hopes that perhaps you too have sensed this conviction and urgency, and will act.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Friend, I am calling on you also to begin taking your gift of time much more seriously. Reach out to others; spend more time with the Lord in prayer; love BETTER. This could involve helping someone remove weeds from either their physical or spiritual garden, or exerting more energy into praying on someone’s behalf. Know that if you do, the Lord will supply you with that fresh air of his Spirit to boost your zeal and enthusiasm to keep on going.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
Yes, there is time to enjoy the fun things we like to do, but we must temper those with the more important moments with family, friends, and yes, quality time with our Lord.
“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”
1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
LORD, TEACH US HOW TO USE OUR TIME WISELY. YOU HAVE GIVEN IT TO US FOR A REASON, SO PLEASE SHOW US HOW TO SPEND IT IN THIS SEASON. AS YOU HAVE ROLLED UP YOUR SLEEVES FOR US, HELP US TO DO THE SAME FOR OTHERS, FOR YOUR GLORY.
Food for thought: We kill time, we save time, we rob and get robbed of time, we lose time, and we have all the time in the world. But not one of us is powerful enough to stop the march of time or slow it down. Yet, God spoke, and created it. Our time on earth is but a breath, a grain of sand; but how we use it can change the world.
Fun facts: 1. Time is: the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.
2. Physicists define time as the progression of events from the past to the present into the future. Basically, if a system is unchanging, it is timeless. Time can be considered to be the fourth dimension of reality, used to describe events in three-dimensional space. It is not something we can see, touch, or taste, but we can measure its passage. 3. In terms of philosophy, time is difficult to define. Scientists and philosophers have disagreed on our understanding of time for many years. Some argue it is a ‘real’ part of the Universe while others argue it is just the way humans think, comparing events and putting them in sequence. It’s a little confusing but fun to think about.
Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Time Blows By…