“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16, ESV)
In the game of baseball, when a coach senses his pitcher needs a moment to clear his head and focus on the next pitch, he will signal to the umpire that he wants a timeout.
It is the same in other team sports, and a good coach in whatever sport generally knows the right moment to call for the timeout!
But unlike the opportunity for a timeout in sports, there is no timeout when it comes to living our lives! There are many occasions when each of us would like to stop the clock … take a deep breath … and then move on.
But God in His infinite wisdom determined not to give us that prerogative, but rather to live each moment and each day with the awareness it could be our last moment.
And so, He expects us to not only recognize this truth but live by it as well … “redeeming the time” … making the most of our opportunities while we have them.
James tells us by inspiration that each moment is a precious gift from God in James 1:17. Each new day brings us 24 hours, 1440 minutes, 86,000 seconds, each calling for us to be good stewards, mindful that one day we must give an account for how we spent the time God loaned us (Romans 14:12), and how effectively we “bought up” the opportunities He provided.
If someone were to give us $1,400 each day and say spend it or lose it, how diligent would we be to comply? That would be a pretty good deal, wouldn’t it?
But the real truth is that yesterday is but a canceled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is all of the cash that you have. Spend it wisely! As someone has well said:
I have only just a minute, only 60 seconds in it;
forced upon me; can’t refuse it;
didn’t seek it; didn’t choose it.
But it’s up to me just how I use it.
I must suffer if I lose it,
give account if I abuse it.
Just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it.
Time is actually a strange commodity and here’s why … we can’t save it, retrieve it, relive it, stretch it, borrow it, loan it, stop it, or store it, but can only use it or lose it.
We can’t call time out in the game of life. And there is no such thing as a literal “instant replay” except as we replay the conversation, the action over and over in our minds.
Our greatest danger is letting the urgent (secular) things crowd out the important (divine things). Our problem is that too often we live by life’s demands, instead of by God’s priorities.
We each have one chance at living this life … and then comes eternity!
And that chance can end at any second, or minute for any one of us! (Hebrews 9:27)
Do not be deceived by what Satan … the “ruler of this world” … whispers in our ears every day. We don’t have forever … “the convenient season” doesn’t arrive by our waiting for it in the future!
I do not want to miss Heaven … you don’t want to either! Therefore, I do not want there to be any timeouts that would delay my being with the Lord forever!
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. Just think about this thought for even a few moments. Have we been overlooking what our real purpose in life is to be?
Remember that life is too short for us to do everything we want to do, but it is long enough for us to do everything God wants us to do.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.” (Ps 90:12)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.