Fanatical About Time

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4).  “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” (Rom. 13:12). “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16).

            Jesus was the Light of the world, which is what prompted His comment in John 9:4.  He knew His time on the earth was short.  He was literally on a mission from God.  He had a message for Israel, and when they rejected Him as their king, you might say He put Plan B into action, and the doors were opened to all the rest of us so we could hear the Gospel and receive Christ.  In human form, He couldn’t be everywhere all at once, so He delegated tasks to His disciples, sending out 70 at one point.  It’s amazing how busy He was healing and ministering to many who came to Him.  He also took needed time to pray and commune with God, the Father, which  was an integral part of His mission.

            The Gospel of Mark is a condensed account of Christ’s life, with incidents and events portrayed in quick succession.  No wasting time on peripherals.  Mark was written with a Roman audience of that day in mind, and they wanted to see action.  That sounds like our society today, doesn’t it?

            The Apostle Paul knew the world is an evil, dark place, and he knew the importance of carrying out deeds of righteousness and light in the time left before Christians are raptured and the Great Tribulation falls.  In a sense, the race is on to get the Gospel to those who will be saved.

            I’m not trying to goad you into becoming a heart-attack-bound Type A personality, but there is merit to recognizing the value of time and making the most of it.  I was struck by a profound comment made by Robert Stroud in the movie “Birdman of Alcatraz.”  He said, “I’ve learned not to abuse time.”  We each have the same 24 hours in a day; but are we glorifying the Lord?  It’s not about being constantly busy and super efficient, but making the most out of what time we have.  If you think about that, you’ll see I’m trying to make a keen distinction.  For example, when you’re ill, you glorify God by getting the rest your body needs.  Down time is essential, too.

            You may be practicing these principles already, but here are some of my experiences.  When I go to my family doctor, I type out notes ahead of time for him, relating my symptoms.  I write down questions I have as well.  Such preparation takes time, but I don’t want to overlook something that might be important to his diagnosis.  He appreciates this.  My time with him and other medical professionals is short, and I want the time spent to be productive.  It’s for my benefit as much as theirs.  Similarly, when I get on the phone with someone like an insurance agent, I jot down key words and questions.  It may sound silly, but I’ve even done this sometimes when talking to friends.

            In Bible college, one of my profs kept a file card box for prayer requests, divided into sections for each day of the month.  I’ve heard of people writing names of missionaries they pray for on the weeks of their calendar.  Of course, there are plans for reading though the Bible in a year.  If such things are daunting or too rigid for you, simply ask God to show you how to make the time you have with Him and with others count for Him.  I’d be delighted to hear how He answers that prayer for you.

Explore posts in the same categories: Christian Life, Thoughts from John

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