Time is Fleeting
On Sunday night I got to spend some time with friends in a class with no teacher. If you know me well enough you know that it gave us plenty of time to discuss deep topics. Our topic of the night was supposed to be 1 Cor 14:22-25, so we discussed a few minutes on the topics of tongues and prophecy in the church today, but it didn't stop there. We came to the conclusion that yes God can (and does) still use the gifts described in 1 Corinthians, but as Paul writes it is only as the Spirit wills. If we as believers are seeking the gifts, as Paul told us in 1 Cor 14:1, we have to be willing to give our time to God and truly seek and desire those gifts.
This is where I began to think. I just finished a book that opened my eyes to a lot of the American cultural influence on how I read the Word of God, but the one thing that really stuck with me from this book was the cultural perception of time. We all know that there are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 365 days in a year. We've been taught, using the Bible remember, that our lives are a vapor (James 4:14). We've taken this verse to the extreme sometimes and have applied it to our jobs, our schooling, and even our social schedules. My question is how many of us have applied the verse as it was intended and applied it to our worship, service, and ministry of God?
Our discussion the other night helped me to see how many times during the day I get to thinking on something that is completely unnecessary, when I could be dwelling on the things of God (Phil 4:8). We have taken our infatuation with ensuring that things are done on time, in a timely manner, and with a solid methodology and applied it to even our Bible study and time with God. Most of us probably have a "daily Bible time", but, honestly, how close do we get to God during this time, or are we just doing it because we know we're supposed to? One of the men in our discussion pointed out that he has set aside 15 or 20 minutes each morning for God, which he admitted wasn't even enough time to clear his head and really dwell on God. This same friend then lives the rest of his day in the world, only remembering to pray while driving down the road, again he's not fully dwelling on God, or remembering to post something on Facebook as a "verse of the day". As we talked I asked them "Why?" they thought it was this way. Their answers weren't a surprise. They, like all the rest of us, aren't really focusing our hearts, minds, AND souls on God. We're giving Him parts of us, but never really giving Him ALL of us.
As I have been thinking on this issue, not just since Sunday but since I finished the chapter in this book about time, I have been trying to find the areas that I am wasting in my vapor of a life. One thing that I have started to work on is changing my thoughts from "there's only 24 hours in a day" to "there's 24 hours in a day". I'm not limiting my day, by simply removing that word only from my thought process I have stopped stressing about when something happens, or how long it's going to take, but rather I just get it done as I get it done. Another thing that I, surprisingly considering my high school days, am seriously having to work on is understanding that just because I CAN do something today that I don't HAVE to do something today. A lot of times I used to catch myself thinking that "if I will go ahead and do XYZ today, I'll have time to do ABC tomorrow", the problem with this mentality is there's ALWAYS something that could be done today instead of tomorrow. I need to stop stressing about something tomorrow because, as James said "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow." (James 4:14). I have always heard this verse in the perspective of "get it done today because you don't know about tomorrow", but why can't we change that to "if it doesn't HAVE to be done today, you don't know about tomorrow" (you could be dead and never have to worry about it again).
Take a moment and think about your time. Are you trying to fit in all the worldly things and missing out on dwelling on the Godly? Maybe the issue isn't how much time is in your day, but how you perceive it. Consider taking some time (I know right...) and working to change your perspective so that you can actively, consciously choose to spend it in prayer and meditation. Maybe the Spirit is wanting to use you for something BIG but He can't fit it into your schedule....