Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:15-18
I’ve been thinking about these verses a lot since Daylight Savings Time hit a couple of weeks ago. Ironically, I’ve been too busy running from one demand to the next to even be able to process anything. That’s how crazy this time crunch thing is. And then we get an hour ‘taken away from us’ every Spring. I was thinking maybe we should change our clocks on Friday afternoons at 2 instead of Saturdays at midnight, and then we would think of it as a bonus: “Hey, I can’t wait–this Friday is our free hour!” That is instead of us grumbling about losing an hour for a month.
But my time issue is bigger than losing an hour, just like it is for most of us. I’m a big football fan, specifically a Green Bay Packer fan. I lived through the years when Brett Favre went through his years of “I’m retiring,” and then he’d cry his eyes out, and then he wasn’t retiring and on the saga would go. I realized why he had such a fight with it all, especially the older I get…once he hangs up his cleats, all he’s got is game film. No more last minute heroics, no more chances at the Super Bowl, or being the league MVP…just game film.
CT Studd said, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” Our game film is different. I’m well aware of that as I spend most of my time and energy working, then coming home and squeezing in what I can with the little time and energy I have left. I think about the Ephesians 5 verses and CT Studd’s quote a lot and want to cry like Brett Favre too. When I get to Heaven, what I did here on earth is my game film.
It seems the days are getting more and more evil and people need Jesus more. I’m getting older here and my days are getting shorter. The psalmist said, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom,” in Psalm 90:12; Psalm 31:15 “My times are in Your hands,” and finally Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in His time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
In other words, God has made us be ‘clock checkers.’ He has made us long for eternity and to make our lives count for something. Maybe that’s why Brett cried when he talked about retiring and why I don’t like bustling around. I want my life to be about more than just going to work to pay bills and to get enough sleep to go back the next day and to do it all again.
We all hunger for eternity because that is what God created us for. Dallas Willard said in his book The Divine Conspiracy that that’s why everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame–because we are made to matter for eternity. God put a hole in our hearts that only He can fill, and He put eternity in our hearts with this time clock in it that says that we want our lives to matter not just now, but for generations to come.
So we don’t want to waste time, to lose time, or to throw it away. That’s why we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is through His guidance and direction that I will know which turn to take, to know what is a waste of time, and to know when it is time to retire. It is the Holy Spirit who will give me the power to turn away from foolish things and toward the things of God, away from selfish and materialistic pursuits that will amount to nothing in the end, and toward eternal things.
Teach me, O God, to number my days. Give me a heart of wisdom that I may walk more by faith, less by sight. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I will crave the eternal more than things that won’t last and don’t matter in the end. Use me even in the busy days. Give me more than fifteen minutes of fame with You forever.