The Treasure of Time
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15–16
“Oh my, where did the time go?” “I wish had more hours in the day.” “Where do you find the time for that?” What do these expressions have in common? They count time as a subjective, changeable, commodity—as if time could really speed up and slow down, as if it could be expanded, or as if some are given more time than others. All of those are false assumptions. Time is constant and evenly distributed to each of us.
When we get frustrated with the shortness of time, of course the problem is not with time itself, but with us. If I have waited too long to start a project, I might complain about the time that “flew by” or “was stolen.” Then as I think back, I realize that had I treasured my time in the past and used it more wisely, I would not be experiencing my time crunch in the present.
That makes me wonder how Martin Luther had time to write so prolifically—especially when I see on my shelf 53 volumes of his works, averaging close to 400 pages each. These are not everything he wrote! Where did he find the time, without a computer, with only candle light, while teaching university classes, preaching, studying, debating, reforming, raising a family, and suffering from illnesses and depression? His days contained the same number of hours and minutes as yours and mine. What was the difference?
You don’t have to be a famous reformer to understand the importance of time. The key is to know your calling, or purpose. For example, we wisely manage our money if we have a goal to purchase a certain item that is important to us. Likewise, we can manage time to serve a goal, or calling, that we deem important. So often we fritter away time because we don’t know what we are to use it for. We are far less clear about our purpose in life than was Luther about his.
In the Bible verse above from Ephesians, the word for time is kairon (opportune time), distinct from, but related to, kronon (clock time). The verse means basically, “don’t waste your opportunities (kairon)”. If we ask God to help us to treasure our kronon, we will be ready for the kairons. Take time to consider your purpose in life, then steward your time to fulfill that purpose. The opportunities you did not see before will suddenly show up, because you will have time to see them and act on them.
Now, that you’ve got extra time on your hands, go start a Reformation.