Making Up for Lost Time?
By Karen Hodge
life-giving leadership

Recently we were sitting with a friend who said, “This pandemic has robbed me of so much. I am going to spend the rest of this year making up for lost time.” His perspective on the nature of time has rolled around in my mind. Can we lose time? Do we have the capability to add more hours to our days? Our smartwatches are merely instruments to mark the passage of time. But neither they nor I am smart enough to figure out how to create or capture time.

I can empathize with our friend because I have worn myself out in self-sufficiency trying to recapture time or cram a few more tasks into a given day.

Time belongs to God. He sovereignly established how it would unfold before the creation of the world. He created day and night and called it good. God is infinitely transcendent as our eternal and timeless Father. He is also graciously eminent with us in the minutes and hours of our days. His presence brings purpose to all the days He has numbered for our lives.

We are not promised tomorrow, so today is the day to invest His time in eternal things: the Word of God and people.

The time-management industry unveils slick apps and shiny planners every year. We start with good intentions but may be tempted to scroll for a quick life hack in the busyness of life. These organizational strategies feed an elusive hope that we can control or manage time. These shortcuts promise increased productivity and efficiency but often run thin. And when we fall in bed exhausted, on the bad days, we might believe our value lies in what we produce.

Time is a great equalizer. You and I are graciously given the same amount of time each day: 24 hours. Time cannot be managed, but be encouraged; it can be stewarded. A steward is someone who has been entrusted something of inestimable value by the King to be wisely invested for His kingdom’s purposes. Time is a priceless gift given to His children to carefully, wisely, and intentionally be spent for His glory.

This fall,  we may be tempted, like my friend, to add extra activities to our schedule we were prevented from doing last year. But when we exhale, we can review our notes from the gospel classroom God enrolled us in during the past year. We learned hard lessons from James such as that we have no idea what tomorrow will hold, and our life is as ephemeral as vapor (James 4:14).

King Solomon wisely reminded us that even though God has set eternity in our hearts, we cannot comprehend what He is doing today, in the past, or in the future (Ecclesiastes 3:11). But our homework comes from Moses: Look to Jesus and learn what it means to number our days so we can acquire a wise heart (Psalm 90:12).

As a task-driven individual, I must admit I am still enrolled in the remedial time-stewardship class. This old quote hangs cross-stitched in many homes and is the signature line of my email, “Only one life twill soon be past, only what is done for Christ will last.” We are not promised tomorrow, so today is the day to invest His time in eternal things: the Word of God and people. 

Karen Hodge serves as the coordinator for CDM Women’s Ministry, where she connects women and churches to one another and to sound resources.

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