Lately, there hasn’t been enough days in a week or hours in a day. As a wise man once told me keeping busy also keeps me “off the street and out of trouble”. Yes, but my mind has been troubled with the thought of ‘time’.
Time. I love it and hate it. Time means deadlines, appointments, curfews, and other so-called restrictions. However, time means being with those you care about, accomplishments, usefulness, and more. Time can be wasted or valuable.
What does God think of time? Does He have a watch?
What is time to God? Psalm 90:4; II Peter 3:8. Isaiah says that God “inhabits eternity” (Isaiah 57:15), so time to God takes on different dimensions. He can function outside of time if He so desires.
Time is always and only a gift from God. The clock causes me to forget that.
God is never seen to be in a hurry. Jesus refused to be hustled and He lived on the same time-laden planet we do.
If that’s so, all the more should I find liberty in affirming I am made to be finite.
Of course, that’s the rub: I hate my finitude. My DayTimer (or “brain-in-my-butt” as our secretary calls it) is a human invention to try and avert that fact. I simply don’t want to admit the basic limits of my time.
Time is not primarily for the sake of doing more. Time is God’s gift for being and doing what matters. For this reason, my goal should not necessarily be to manage my time in order to do more, but perhaps to gratefully honor God’s gift by doing less. This is no excuse for laziness.
We live in the active acknowledgement of the God who holds all things, which means the Lord holds whole lives, not just individual moments. I do not hold eternity, but eternity holds me, and those I am called to serve.
Psalm 39 gives us some perspective. In David’s complaint to God, he said, “You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You” (V. 5). He meant that to an eternal God our time on earth is brief, but under the guidance of the eternal God (Ps.90:2).
On frantic days, this helps me breathe. It helps me daily to drink in the simple assurance that God has created a world in time, and that today, as every day, there will be enough of it for what matters. Not enough for all I could imagine doing. Or for all that is needed. Or for all that will be asked of me. I am made to be finite, so I am free to live in a finite way. Only my insanity about time says otherwise.
What matters is that the God of all time breathes eternity into our moments.
“A life once spent is irrevocable. It will remain to be contemplated through eternity. The same may be said of each day. When it is once past, it is gone forever. All the marks which we put upon it, it will exhibit forever. Each day will not only be a witness of our conduct, but will affect our everlasting destiny. How shall we then wish to see each day marked with usefulness?! It is too late to mend the days that are past. The future is in our power. Let us, then, each morning, resolve to send the day into eternity in such a garb as we shall wish it to wear forever. And at night let us reflect that one more day is irrevocably gone, indelibly marked.” – Adoniram Judson