In my work (and this is common with many who work) I have an annual appraisal. The key component of appraisals is that the appraisee ‘reflects’ - reflects on each and every aspect of his/her entry in the appraisal submission. And I feel this is key to our lives - we need to take time out and reflect on what we have done that day or that week or even further back over the years. Reflect on how well we have used our time.
Time is well spent in several ways. Time with family and friends to chat or to help out. Time reading God’s word, the Bible, to learn of how we should live our lives. Time spent in nature - walking, looking up at the beautiful cloud formations, admiring the trees and plants, the undulating hills or the rugged coastline. These wonderful, unique things are nature and we believe they are God’s creation.
God created time. In Genesis 1, at the beginning of creation, we are told that God created the sun, moon and stars for ‘signs and for seasons, and for days and years’.
We are bound by time - a time to be born and a time to die as the book of Ecclesiastes tells us. We are finite. God is not bound by time - He is infinite. So because our lives are time limited, we have the advice of the Psalms:
‘Teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom’.
So we should try and use our time well.
The apostle Paul in his letter to believers at Ephesus (in what is now modern day Turkey) instructs them (and us) in ch 5 v15-16:
'Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil’.
The earlier verses in that chapter describe this evil - foolish talking, crude jokes, sexual immorality etc. We are surrounded by this ‘evil’ and it can be very difficult to not become part of it but Paul wants us, God wants us, to do what is wise and ‘make the best use of time’
There is a saying about time: ‘Time is like a river - it flows by and does not return’. In other words, once time has gone it has gone and the opportunity that it brings may never recur.
I have used the phrase ‘our time’. Here’s a thought: it is not strictly ‘our’ time but rather as the Bible tells us that time is overseen by God. As David says in the Psalms speaking to God ‘My times are in your hand’; so with his words in mind I feel it’s a wise move to take note of what Isaiah the prophet says:
'Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near'.
We believe that Jesus will return to this Earth to set up God’s kingdom on Earth. We don’t know when but we believe his return is imminent. So time could be very short.
In other words, let’s make the best use of time and try to find out more about God and Jesus and learn about the wonderful hope of eternal life that is revealed to us in the Bible.
And Paul writes elsewhere ‘Now is the favourable time, now is the time of salvation’.
As the saying goes ‘There is no time like the present’