Welcome to our new guest post series about "time."
How do we use it? Misuse it? Many of us spend so much time complaining we don't have enough of it, but how often are we grateful for what we actually have? It is a gift we receive every day...a fresh allotment. But how will we spend it? And what values shape how we use it? As we reflect, may there be space to consider how and where we spend our precious seconds of this gift.
When I think about time, my thoughts turn to two of my favorite Bible verses:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1, ESV).
“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14b, ESV)
Yet I often wonder how I am spending my time. Am I using it wisely or am I wasting it? Am I living in the moment, dwelling in the past, or focusing too much on the future? Do I have a proper perspective of time?
A few weeks ago, I stood at my kitchen window, admiring the beautiful red-gold hues of a morning sunrise. Although I have taken dozens of sunrise photos—many of them from my own front yard—I’m still waiting to capture that one special shot. Sensing this might be the moment; I ran into the bedroom to grab my camera from the closet and rushed outside.
In the span of a minute, the colors had begun to fade. Though still lovely, the brilliant reddish gold had faded to a paler pink. Because I wasn’t prepared, a moment was lost forever.
Time is a precious gift. However, I think that too often, we take time for granted. Scripture tells us that God ordained all our days “before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16, NIV). Yet no one knows how long we have on this earth, therefore we need to be good stewards of the time we have.
Often, our perspective of time depends upon our circumstances. For someone awaiting the results of a medical test, one minute can seem like an eternity.
My husband and I experienced this in 1993. A year prior, doctors diagnosed him with cancer. We thought the months of chemo had been successful, but on a Friday afternoon, we learned that blood work revealed an increase in his tumor markers. We had to wait until Monday before we knew the extent and location of the cancer. Without a doubt, that weekend was the longest one of our lives. Each minute seemed to last a lifetime.
Yet for the family of a child diagnosed with a terminal illness, one minute passes in a flash. Time becomes precious to them and they treasure every minute they have together.
It is sad that it often takes devastating news or a tragedy for us to appreciate life and to evaluate our priorities. I’m learning to cherish the moments—even when it seems a minute isn’t long enough. Even when it seems a minute lasts for an eternity.
Most of us live such busy lives and we never seem to have enough time. That is why it is a good idea to evaluate how we spend it. We need to prioritize. As wives, are we spending quality time with our husbands? For those of you who are mothers, are you investing time with your children? As employees, are we using our time on the job wisely? Most importantly, as Christians, are we spending daily time with the Savior—seeking Him and reading His word?
One minute is sixty seconds—no more, no less. Several years ago, I saw a video of the Beatles’ song, When I’m Sixty-four. Toward the end, words flashed on the screen giving the number of minutes in sixty-four years and stating that one minute could be a very long time. The video then counted down the last sixty seconds of the song. I was amazed at how much the artist fit into one minute.
One minute, spent in silence, makes a difference when we take time to consider our words rather than retaliating in anger.
One minute can brighten a person’s day when we pause long enough to give someone an encouraging word.
One minute is more than enough time to tell someone you love them.
One minute spent in prayer can change our attitudes and set the course of our day. (I believe that we should spend longer than a minute praying, but it takes only thirty seconds to pray the Lord’s prayer and around forty-five seconds to recite Psalm 23.) Imagine then, what spending twenty, thirty, or sixty minutes in prayer and Bible study will do for our Spiritual growth.
The next time you don’t think you have enough hours in the day, slow down, cherish the moment, and remember—one minute can make a difference.
Joan Hall’s writing has appeared in a variety of on-line publications and in the book, Life Lessons From Teachers (available through Amazon). She has two devotions accepted for publication in the upcoming winter issue of The Secret Place. She is also a regular contributor to Splickety Magazine’s Lightning Blog.
An avid fiction enthusiast, Joan’s desire is to write stories that cause people to reflect upon living a simple life, strong family bonds, and faith in Christ.
Joan is married to John—a twenty year cancer survivor. They live in Texas and are active members of their church. They enjoy outdoor walks and bird watching, which enables Joan to pursue her love of nature photography. Connect with Joan at:
Facebook at www.facebook.com/joanhallwrites