Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Who's Got Time?

How much time do you have?

Are you always short on time? Does time seem like it goes on forever for you?

If you're like me, then it's probably a combination of both.

I spend my time being bored or tired or overwhelmed, happy or sad or joyful or frustrated. 

Did you catch that? I spend MY time?

I've been doing a study of Ecclesiastes the last few days, and today I got to Ecclesiastes 3. Most people are at least somewhat familiar with this passage because it inspired "Turn! Turn! Turn!" by The Byrds in the 1950's:
There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I just love it. No matter where you are in your life right now, there is likely a very applicable and helpful portion of that for you.

However, just after this bit, something else caught my eye this morning:
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in man's hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life. It is also the gift of God whenever a man eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts. I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him. Whatever is, has already been, and whatever will be, already is. God repeats what is passed. Ecclesiastes 3:11-15

Parts of that can be a little befuddling, and I must also warn you that Ecclesiastes, like any other book, should really be looked at as a whole. If you only look at the beginning, it can seem really depressing, but it all works out in the end. 

However, I did get one overwhelming idea from the passage above: my time is not actually mine.

As Christians, we often look at material things as gifts from God, of which we are called to be good stewards. We may even acknowledge that today is a gift from Him:

This is the day that the Lord has made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

But, how often, throughout your busy day, do you tell yourself, This moment is a gift from God, and therefore, I must be a good steward of it. Am I seeking His will with the time HE has given?

Did you see that? There's a very important distinction there: not MY time, but the time He has given. 

I did not earn the time I've been given. I didn't work for it; it is not owed to me.

It is a gift.

He has given it to me, but not just for me to waste, but to accomplish His purposes for my life in this moment.

It kind of shifts your perspective doesn't it? 

Now, I'll admit, it's easy for me to say that now, as the house is still and the sun is still yawning and stretching its way into the sky. It may be MUCH harder in an hour or so when the kids wake up, the tasks add up, and mom gets fed up.

Nevertheless, today, instead of shutting my Bible and putting it away, I'm going to leave it open on the dining room table to Ecclesiastes 3, just to remind me that every minute I have is a gift from God, and each second should glorify Him.

What can you do today to remind you of the same thing?

My daughter, Destiny, took this picture of little Phinehas exploring.
 Who finds more gladness in the tiniest gifts from God than a baby?


  1. Yes! So true. "Our" time is short here and it is always a challenge to be a good steward. I'll be thinking on this today...thank you!

    1. You're welcome, Ginger! Thanks for coming to visit. :)

  2. I love this... and I love that passage! Oh my! "I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life." God is calling me away a bit from my blog this summer and He is inviting me to simply rejoice and enjoy the good life - this new season - that I am in right now and some days it is wonderful and some days it feels like I really should ignore what He is asking of me and just 'accomplish' something... So thankful that you included the whole passage as I have read it - but it's been awhile and that verse was just what I needed to hear! We are neighbors over at Holly's for Testimony Tuesday!

    1. Hi Karrilee! Don't you just love how intimate God is with out hearts? He knows exactly what we need WHEN we need it!! Thanks for coming to visit! :D

  3. I so often struggle with the appropriateness of God's timing and then I look back and see that it couldn't have been more perfect. Thank you for this reminder, Alissa! Appreciate you linking up this week.