Whatsoever Magazine

Time: Use it Wisely

Posted on: October 10, 2006

Time is an area God has been challenging me regarding. I keep on sensing God say to me: Seize the day! Seize the opportunities to be used by God. Seize opportunities to grow. Seize time to draw closer to Him.

How many opportunities do we miss without thinking as we get caught up in the busyness of life? Yet each day holds so many opportunities and joys. I recently celebrated my twentieth birthday, and I couldn’t help but think, “Where have all those years gone?” and, “Did I use them wisely?” The days, months, and years go by so fast, yet we are told to ‘redeem the time’ [Ephesians 5:6, NJKV]. So be careful how you live, not as fools, but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do [Ephesians 5:15-17]. Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom [Psalm 91:12].

Are we using our time wisely? Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters [Galatians 6:10]. God can use us and is using us now. Never be fooled into believing that you can’t be used by God until you’re older and wise or out of school or married. God wants to use us now, each and every day. At school we have so many opportunities to witness, befriend, and lead a good example. At home, we can encourage, listen, pray, serve, lead a good example, and help. Are we taking hold of these opportunities? Sadly, instead of encouraging my family, I find it easier to criticize and judge. It’s so easy to get preoccupied and not really listen and care about others, or take the time to play and help them. Yet how much longer am I going to be at home? I should be making the most of my time at home to get to know and enjoy my family and bless them. This year I have found it hard to prioritize my family over others. It is so easy to go and help other families and leave my own family struggling, yet first and foremost God calls us to help our own families. So I have had to say no to helping some families, in order to help my own more.

Another thing God has been saying is enjoy each day. Whatever it brings, choose to enjoy it. This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it [Psalm 118:24]. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life–that is indeed a gift from God. People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy [Ecclesiastes 5:19b-20]. Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have [Ecclesiastes 6:9]. I have fallen into the trap of dreaming too much about marriage and being a mother, that sometimes I’m not enjoying my life now. I can’t wait for the next stage, but that means I’m missing out on the joys of today. The unmarried woman is concerned about the Lord’s affairs; the married woman, the concerns of her husband [1 Corinthians 7:34]. Are we using our single time to serve the Lord fully? Because once we’re married it is twice as hard to find moments to spend time with God and to learn from Him, to hear His voice, and to pray for others. You and I need to make sure we are spending time with God now. He is the reason we live, so don’t get caught up in other things.

Another question is: are we wasting time being lazy? Are we prepared to put in the effort to serve and help others and in so doing serve and help God? Are we willing to spend time praying for others? Are we willing to give up some things to have more time for important and eternal things? What are we investing out time in–things that are going to last, or temporal things? There are some temporary things that we must do, for example school, dishes, and washing. Yet there are a lot of others that just don’t matter–like TV. Our lives are so short that not one of us knows how long we are going to live. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die [Psalm 103:15]. Are we investing our time wisely?

My mother is a wonderful example of someone willing to invest in eternal things, willing to choose the harder road. I know a lot of people who don’t want many children. Why? Because it’s too much hard work. People today view children as work; they miss out on the joys and blessings that children bring. Yes, it can be hard work, yet it reaps many blessings, too–and children are eternal. They are one of the few things that are going to last forever! And, as God’s Word says, the more you sow, the more you reap. The best things in life come through effort and hard work. My mother went through a lot of difficulties having us, being sick all pregnancy and having nine children in eleven years. We were all little together, and so we were not much help when we were younger. Plus, Mum homeschooled us. Sure, there were some hard times, yet God blessed here and provided for each one of her needs. I don’t think she regrets one of those days. God taught her so much through them and she would have missed out on a lot of joy and blessings had she given up or taken the easy road.

Yes, God often asks us to take the harder road, yet this is the road that will reap many blessings. Some roads might look easier, but are they easier in the long run? We are told:” Never get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessings at the appropriate time [Galatians 6:9]. The verse before it says, Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. What a sobering verse.

I know it is hard to fit everything into a day, but try working things together. Pray, sing, or talk to a sibling while exercising. While working, praise God, pray, or listen to and encourage others. Play sport with a brother. It’s good for exercise and good for your relationship. While lying in bed trying to sleep, try to think about what you read in the Bible, or pray. Instead of watching TV, use that time to pray, read God’s Word, praise Him, or write an encouraging note to a friend. Ask God to open your eyes to see the areas in which He wants to use you throughout the day. Seek ways to help and serve your family and others.

May God help each one of us to seize the day. I want my life to be worthwhile. How about you?

By Melanie A.
[originally published in Volume 5 #2 of Whatsoever Magazine]
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