I have a very bad habit of procrastinating. I wait until the last minute to tidy up, make that important phone call, or write my latest blog entry…living alone for so many years, it went mostly unnoticed by others and unchecked by me. My husband is very patient about certain aspects of this habit, but he has taught me much about the value of getting on top of tasks, instead of always playing catch up.
One of the lies I have told myself is that “I just don’t have enough time..” to do certain things. But God has given every one of us the same 24 hours in a day. Some of us have more unstructured time, but no one has more actual time than anyone else. And I will always find time for the things I choose to do first–whether they are more important, more urgent, or just more fun.
Time is a gift. How we spend it shows how much we value it. I can waste time, invest time, spend time, hoard time, share time, or lose time, but I can’t buy, sell, or trade for more of it. I can pray for it– there is a precedent in the Bible. Hezekiah was the king of Judah. God told him that he would die soon, and Hezekiah prayed and wept. God sent the prophet Isaiah to tell the king that he would grant him another 15 years of life, as well as deliverance from his enemy, the king of Assyria ( see II Kings 19 and 20). Hezekiah was generally a good king, but in the extra 15 years that God granted him, he was foolish, and put his nation at risk. Having more time didn’t make Hezekiah a better king, nor did it bring his nation peace and security…all it did was prolong his life and defer Judah’s destruction for a few short years.
What makes time precious is that we don’t know how much of it we have here. Our lives pass in a flash– what we do today in haste or wasted pleasure can’t be recovered. But it can be redeemed. I can learn to use time more wisely. I can pray for good counsel in the stressful days as well as the times of leisure. Rather than ask for more time, I’ve started to ask for more wisdom to USE the time I’ve been given. I’ve been amazed at how much more I can accomplish when I seek God’s counsel about time, rather than worry and work at making “more” of it. And some of the other things that took up so much of my time? I still have time for some of them, too– after the important things get done.