In the human experience, there is a great equalizer. No matter who we are—rich, poor, or somewhere in between—everyone has the same amount of it. It is what your life is made of.
I’m referring to time. Each of us has 24 hours a day, no more, no less.
Each day comes and each day goes, and that time is gone. Time goes by whether you use it well or poorly. Most people will tell you that they feel pressured by time, as they manage their many activities and all the demands made upon them. And they will say they have real difficulty getting it all done. Business pursuits, family obligations, and personal activities outstrip the time to accomplish everything. Many people suffer from sleep deprivation because they simply can’t get to bed due to the demands on their time.
Time is so precious that it should come as no surprise that the Bible has much to say about the subject.
In Genesis 1:14 we see that God created the lights in the firmament “for signs and seasons and for days and years.” We also see that on the seventh day of creation God rested and set apart the Sabbath as special, holy time (Genesis 2:2–3).
King Solomon of ancient Israel—given special wisdom by God—was inspired to write the classic scripture about time in Ecclesiastes 3:1: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”
So, we see that timing is important in all our human activities, and that we should set right priorities if we are to be in harmony with God’s will.
As Christians, we become even more cognizant of time and how we should use it. We realize that time is short, as the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:29. Paul also emphasized this theme and had a sense of urgency in his letter to the church at Rome: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy” (Romans 13:11–13).
James, the Lord’s brother, put it this way: “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). Ask elderly persons about their lives and they will usually tell you that life is short and that time goes by very quickly in the human experience.
The Apostle Paul really made it clear in his letter to the church at Ephesus when he said, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15–16).
How then does one redeem the time? Part of the answer is by observing the Sabbath and the annual Holy Days, looking for opportunities to serve others, and not spending time on foolish, wasteful pursuits. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take some time to relax, enjoy a good book, or pursue a productive hobby. As human beings, we need an outlet; we need a change of pace from time to time. But all of our activities should glorify God.
It’s your time—how will you use it?