Thursday, June 6, 2013

How do we use the time God has given to us?

For the 9 June 2013 bulletin

How do we use the time God has given to us?

Earlier this week, someone posted on FB a link to a NZ Herald story in which a 19 year old Whangarei man who was "sick of playing Xbox" while on home detention asked and was granted his wish to serve the rest of his sentence in jail. He had already served 10 months of an 11-month home detention term and with one month to go "had run out of Xbox games to play", and told the police that if he wasn't picked up and taken to jail, he would breach his home detention sentence..
Apart from the usual expected incredulous reactions to this story, I found myself wondering how I would spend my time if I could not leave my house for 11 months. Psalm 90:12 came to mind: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom”And it made me wonder: Would I have wasted my time like this young man or would I have been able to use it wisely?
There’s a lot of teaching in the Bible concerning time, but just a couple of thoughts
In the Old Testament, M.H. Cressey in The New Bible Dictionary aptly points out that “ … the most frequent contexts of the words translated ‘times’ and ‘seasons’ suggest a concern for appointed times, the right time, the opportunity for some event or action …. In particular, all these words are used to refer to the times appointed by God, the opportunities given by him (e.g. Dt. 11:14; Ps. 145:15; Is. 49:8; Je. 18:23).”
The start of winter will restrict or take away (for some of us) some of our regular fun daily activities. Cold wet nights for example may “force us” to stay indoors, but surely it should not create a situation where we quickly find ourselves bored or wasting time?. It is a good time to ask God how we should be spending our “home detention”.  Perhaps these times are simply God’s appointed opportunities for us to slow down, or reflect on the direction of our lives and how we use our time?
Paul’s admonishment to us in Ephesians 5:15-17 is worth meditating on.

1Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 

1 comment:

  1. Good one...esp for injured yours truly, whose mobility has been limited these days :)

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