It’s About Time

Time is a precious commodity to us all. We believe we can control it but in fact we have absolutely zero control over time in general-it moves whether we want it to or not. I see posts of friends’ kids with the caption “time slow down” and the inevitable countdown to Christmas clocks as well. So you see we want both, we want it to slow down and to speed up.

timeAlong with our talent and our treasure (money y’all), time is ours to give as my pastor likes to point out. We each are given the same, but with our differing treasures and unique talents we can choose how to spend out of our time bank so to speak.

I have to say for me personally, I will choose the least productive and effective way to spend my time when I have a deadline on my writing (I currently have two). Or if I’m honest anytime I find that I could be working on my book. I will scroll through Netflix to find something to binge or go wander through thrift stores instead of buckling down to do the work. I admit that to y’all simply because I know we can’t all have holy moments of spending our time 24 hours a day, seven days a week devoted to focused spending of it. But I do feel that our culture has gotten to a place of more time wasted than ever before, and I am a contributor over here.

So when we read Paul’s words in Ephesians to “Pay careful attention, then, to how you live–not as unwise people but as wise–making the most of the time, because the days are evil,” (CSB) we find that how we spend our time is much more important than we like to believe. The days will lie to us, telling us we have more time when we don’t really know that it’s the case. In the NKJV version along with several others, Paul exhorts us to “redeem the time” and I find that a challenge. We get to choose how to invest our greatest commodity, the value of our time, and make the very most of it living as wise individuals in that knowledge.

And yet, do we?

Do you?

I know I don’t often do that…she says after watching three straight episodes of Stranger Things season 2. Instead I will waste time, spend it fruitlessly and frivolously as if I have control over how much is in my account to give. How and where we spend our time also reflects our hearts’ focus and desire, what we are valuing over everything else. Because when we spend time on things of no value or no worth, we are telling everything else to everyone else is less meaningful, that we value this so much more over that.

That realization gave me pause as I read Paul’s words once more to the Ephesians as he laid out living a life in Christ and our consistency in our lives in the walk with Him. Because I can spend it wisely or foolishly, but I’ll never get it back.

So how do I redeem my time? How are you making the most of the time you are given?

Procrastination Station

It is amazing what we will do in order to avoid the difficult. To avoid addressing a hard moment or situation. For me, I am currently avoiding writing a very difficult post. I have talked about writing it, quite a bit actually with a friend. I did it in the hopes he would tell me it was okay not to write it, that if I didn’t want to put words out there then I didn’t have to now.

We run all around looking for distractions or appeasement in dealing with something we find a little harder to confront. We find cleaning that should have been done or files that need to be updated or even texts to send to people we haven’t spoken to in months. I find my best cooking and baking come when I am looking to avoid the hard.

The same holds true in my faith. I will run to every other outlet or option before I run to God to deal with the difficult. I think I can figure it out or it will miraculously go away if I seek my own means instead of seeking Him. But deep down I know that the moment I pause and turn it over to Him, the hardness dissipates. It also means I have to repeatedly take it back to the altar and leave it there. But I know the moment I acknowledge His sovereignty and my finiteness, I understand the situation isn’t as difficult to address…the sin isn’t bigger than me…my thinking isn’t as bleak as His goodness.

So maybe I stop getting off the train in procrastination station but instead ride onto the final stop, where He awaits with promise and healing.

Now to stop holding off on that post and get down to it…IMG_3778.JPG

Green with Envy.

I enjoy hiking. Let me quantify that, I enjoy moderate hiking. It is not so much the hike that I take value from, but the things I discover along the way. Over the last month, as the weather has turned to Spring-like conditions, opportunities have abounded to start work on a summer goal of mine. Three state parks have been crossed off my middle-Tennessee list to visit already, and each experience was vastly different. Twice I have had The Dude joining me, as we begin to check out each other’s hobbies and passions a little more. Yesterday was a solo adventure as I took a note from Pete Wilson‘s message in the morning on not waiting to do things until later.

As I was hiking, I kept ruminating on Pete’s message yesterday morning in relation to Saul and David. The path to envy that Saul walked down wasn’t an overnight happenstance. He learned he could live with this envy, and put off dealing with it until tomorrow. He learned he could live with the notion of envy, the consequences and burden of it. It hit home with me that I have some envy in my own life. That as I walk, and feel the growing anxiety of getting closer to the edge, I continue on. I traverse over rocky terrain, knowing there’s something I should be addressing as it nudges me.

DSCN1281I snagged this photo yesterday in a hurry…why’s that you ask? (I am meticulous, often painstakingly so, in getting photos as I hike) I very haphazardly scrambled over the rocky shore so I could get a full-on frontal shot of the river pouring out of the side of this bluff. As I started over the rocks, a thought popped in my head, “There’s probably snakes along the shore line…this might not be the best idea.” Yet I continued. I scrambled and hopped along the rocks, yes I hopped. I was about four feet from the water and two feet from the spot I was aiming for to get the shot. When I looked down to place my foot on the next rock, there laid a big ol’ snake enjoying the weather as well. I screamed…like a big wuss. I then quickly snapped the photo and hurried back to the safety of the woods.

I tell that story to show that I shouldn’t have been surprised that a snake was there…I had thought about it as I knowingly journeyed out. My “tough girl” mindset was  if I stumbled upon a snake, I’d address it when it happened. And when it did, I screamed and ran (rightfully so). I take the same mindset though on envy in my own life…I wait until it runs up on me as if I hadn’t thought about it until that point, when all along the Spirit was warning me to take heed.

I am not sure what the Spirit is telling you today…what notion He is nudging you on…but don’t wait to address it…don’t put it off until you are confronted by it, hissing and attacking you…don’t learn to live with it as Saul did.