Thursday, September 30, 2010

In the Refiner's Fire - Redeeming the Time


I have no idea who this house belongs to, but I love the colors and the architecture.  I love Victorian houses!  Or, I should say, I love the look of Victorian houses.  The upkeep is another story and I doubt I'll ever own one for that very reason. 

The thing that makes me sad about them is that there once was a great story regarding who built them and who lived there.  They had families and dreams and hopes and wishes.  And now it's reduced to a house.  A house that hopefully has found a loving new owner.  More often than, not that isnt' the case.  And I wonder if they owner left another legacy - family and friends who were touched by their lives in ways we can only dream of.  A legacy that will live on past the wood and paint and plaster and lath of the house.

Time is fleeting and precious.

I read 4 different blog posts in the last week on time management and another 3 about using time wisely.  It seems to be the hot topic lately.

I have always struggled with time management.  I tend to daydream (very literally), potter around, and tackle things that really don't need to be done now rather than the important and sometimes immediate tasks that I need to do.  Couple that with having constant interruptions at work (part of being a college teacher!) and two small children at home, and I am faced with many small chunks of time rather than large bocks where I can really concentrate on something. 

My natural make up is to need large blocks of time.  I have times during the day when I have larger blocks of time so I save my bigger, more intellectually focused tasks for those times and do things that don't require quite as much mind power or length of concentration for times when I have short amounts of time or likely interruptions (like right before or after office hours - I do things like file papers during office hours so I can be very easily interrupted without problems). 

This phrase "redeeming the time" is used frequently in Christian circles as a reminder to use our time wisely.

So what exactly does redeeming the time mean?

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16 KJV

The NIV version says this: "Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." And the NLT says "Making the most of every opportunity in these evil days."

I think it's even simpler than that.

We tend to do what we want to do rather than what we should do.  We waste our time doing things like watching random shows on TV or net surfing (sometimes hours at a shot) and fill our hours with things that might be fun or nice to do but not necessarily things we should be doing.  Then we complain that we don't have time.  The reality is that we do have time - we're just using it for something else.

I think that redeeming the time simply means doing what God would have us do and leaving the rest behind.

Since I realized that I just need to do and not fret, I have gotten better at redeeming the time.  I have gotten better at using my time wisely to complete the tasks I need to do and some that I want to do.  Good all the way around. 

I'm tired of wasting my time.
I'm tired of fretting and worrying.
I'm tired of trying to do it all by myself.

God is much bigger, stronger, wiser and able than I can ever be.

He has given me only so much time on this earth.  I want to use that time wisely. I want to leave more of a legacy than a house or my possessions or my money.

It's time I started letting Him worry about the big picture and do what I can to do the things He has called me to do.  Not what I want or what would be nice or what sounds fun.  What He wants me to do.  Nothing more. Nothing less.

Then I will be redeeming my time to the best of my ability.
With Him in the driver's seat and leading the way.

Soli Deo Gloria.
Always.

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Lea