For everything that happens in life—there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven. [Ecclesiastes 3:1 (VOICE)]
Ecclesiastes tells us there is a right time for everything, Colossians and Ephesians tell us to use our time wisely, Proverbs warns about wasting time, James cautions that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, Corinthians warns us time is short and, readily admitting that his time and future are in God’s hands, David tells us to number our days. Nowhere does Scripture tell us how to have more time!
Time is precious and, like money, it can be given away. Unlike money, however, it can’t be saved for a rainy day, earned, found if lost, earn interest, grow when invested, or be replenished from a trust fund! Whether we use it wisely or not, once time has passed, it’s vanished forever!
I thought about time when my husband reminded me that I was to meet the church women for breakfast the following day. Having forgotten about the appointment, my initial reaction was a groan. I enjoy being with my church sisters: sharing, learning, laughing, encouraging, and loving one another. Nevertheless, I resented taking my time from a busy Monday to do it!
As God would have it, that morning’s reading took me to C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters and the words of the senior demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood. Regarding the young man whose soul they hoped to capture, Screwtape writes: “Nothing throws him into a passion so easily as to find a tract of time which he reckoned on having at his own disposal unexpectedly taken from him.” Those words described my reaction perfectly! Rather than seeing the blessing in fellowship, I’d seen only an intrusion on my time.
The devilish Screwtape instructs Wormwood to encourage the man’s false assumption that his time is a birthright and that every hour of every day belongs to him alone. Wormwood is to guide the man to consider interruptions of any kind as time that is stolen from him, work as time that is unduly taxed, and religious duties as a “generous donation” of his time.
Whether it was coincidence or the Holy Spirit’s intervention but Lewis’ words quickly caused an attitude adjustment regarding what I thought of as “my” time. Even the demonic Screwtape recognized that time is a gift that can’t be owned. He points out to Wormwood that, just as a man can’t hold title to the sun or moon, he can’t be the owner of time. We don’t own the heavens, church, friends, family, God, or our very lives and our time (whether an hour, a day, or a lifetime) does not belong to us. Any time with which we’re blessed belongs to God; He’s just allowing us to use a little bit of it. Rather than owners of our time, we are but stewards of His! Remembering that every day is the Lord’s day, let us always use His time to His honor and glory.
I give the moments of my life over to You, Eternal One. [Psalm 31:15 (VOICE)]
Everything and everyone under heaven is Mine! [Job 41:11b (VOICE)]
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