Redeeming the time.

May 5, 2014.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
(James 4:13-15)

On Saturday I graduated from UTC with a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. As I was sitting amongst my fellow graduates, I was thinking “didn’t I just graduate from high school?” I didn’t feel like I graduated high school yesterday, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it has already been four years. The concept of time is so interesting, and at times disheartening, to me. Time goes by so fast, yet in the moment it feels so slow. Our perception seems to contradict itself. Regardless, it is times like these that I can really understand what James and other biblical writers say on time. Our time here on this earth really is nothing. Just blink and you’ll miss it. I’m moving on to graduate school now, but I’m sure it will go by just as quickly. Then what?

I don’t think the writers are trying to scare us by telling us that time flies. We all know that, at least to some degree. I think the point they are making is that we should be good stewards of our time. We should know that the suffering we experience here for a very short amount of time (though it may seem long) is nothing when compared to eternity. The pleasure we might indulge in here is nothing compared to eternity. We should use our time wisely, remembering the One who made it all possible.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
(Romans 8:18)

What this realization encourages me to do is to actually do something. I think so much of our time is spent sitting around talking about good things that we could do as opposed to actually doing them. To much time is spent discussing reasons why something wouldn’t work as opposed to finding a way to make it work. The Lord has given us a task to do here on earth. Do you think he would abandon us when we are trying to accomplish that task? Or do you think that human leaders have more power than God does?

James is a practical writer. He writes a lot about being doers of the word, and not hearers only. That’s the kind of Christians we need to be. See a problem, come up with a solution (through prayer and careful thought) and solve it. Yes, this is an oversimplification that may not always work exactly the way we think it will, but I believe it is the route that needs to be taken. God will bless our endeavors if they are bearing his glory. Our job is to work to carry them out.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
(Ephesians 5:15-17)

What better time than the present? The thing is, our time is short. Our lives are busy. We are not likely going to reach a point where that is not the case. So what we do for His glory, we should do now. Do you think it’s going to be hard? Just start it. Try something. Stick your head out. I’m talking just as much to myself as I am anyone reading this. Great movements were started with little ideas, with people who were just willing to try. Let’s drop the excuses and find solutions. They are out there, I promise.

“And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
(Matthew 19:23-26)

With God all things are possible. Let’s find the solutions.

Suggested Daily Reading: James 1-5.

May God bless our endeavors.

-Walter

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