Wednesday 20 June 2018

Your Personal Time Governance

Your Personal Time Governance

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17  

1. Everyone, no matter how young or old, no matter how rich or poor, no matter what part of the world you live in, all have the same amount of time. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the months that have 31 days, we all have 31 days. In the months with 30 days, we have 30 days, and in February, we have however many days are in February.
2. And I know we are often guilty of saying, “If I just had a little more time.” Or “if there were just a few more hours in the day.” Or “If only I weren’t so busy, I could get more done.”
3. But the truth this morning is that we all have the same amount of time each and every day. 24 hours. No more and no less. The question then, isn’t how can we find more time, but how can we honor God with the time we have.
4. Ephesians 5.15-17 say, “ 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
5. I challenge you to read through the four gospels and look for the phrases, “I’m tired”, “I’m too busy.” “There’s just not enough time to do it all” ever cross the lips of Jesus. I’ll tell you what, you’ll not find it. Nowhere in the gospel accounts does Jesus use these phrases that we find so common in our speech today.
6. Which makes me ask, “what did Jesus know that we don’t know?” “What did Jesus understand about time?”
7. First, we might say that Jesus understood time as a gift. He was aware that time was created by God and given to humanity as a gift. In the very story of creation, we discover that before anything existed, there was only God, but in a moment of time, God spoke and everything that has been created came into existence as God spoke it into being. There was morning and evening, the first day. There was morning and evening, the second day. And in the act of creation, God, created time as a gift.
8. Can you imagine if we didn’t have time? We would just say to everyone, “what time do you want me there.” “Oh, whenever you show up.” Can you imagine when you were dating, conversations that went like that? “Honey, what time do you want me to pick you up for our date?” “Oh, whenever”. Are you kidding me? When Kolaya and I were dating, we would say, what time and I know at least I would stare at the clock until it was time for us to be together again. You know, we wouldn’t even be able to talk about time unless God had created it. We wouldn’t even use time as a reference point unless it had been created. And so, the first thing we need to understand is that time is a gift.
9. A second important point about time is one we tend to forget. Time is limited. We only have so many minutes with our children to form and shape them before they leave our homes. We only have so many minutes with our parents before we move out and then before they go away. We only have so many minutes with brothers and sisters, with cousins, and nephews and nieces, with grandparents and if you were lucky enough to have known them great grandparents. We only have a limited amount of time with each other. And when we understand that, each moment becomes much more precious.
10. How many people have you ever known, when given a short period of time to live, decide to quit playing it safe and instead go out and do things they have always wanted to do. Erma Bombeck, after being diagnosed with cancer wrote these words, “If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the ’good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
There would have been more "I love you’s".. More "I’m sorrys" ...
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.”

11. Erma Bombeck realized at the end of her life that all the things she worried about weren’t important. A Catholic Priest named Henri Nouwen realized the same thing only he didn’t know he was near the end of his life. He was given a sabbatical for an entire year and as always he would journal the events of his life and shortly after he went back to his place of ministry, had a heart attack and died. His last writing was called A Sabbatical Journey, that journal edited down but over and over again Henri Nouwen challenged himself and us through reading it that we should take time for the moment rather than trying to rush through life. 

Recently I was talking to a gentleman who encountered a man from Africa who had studied a while in the United States and who returned to Africa. His family and friends told him they could tell he had been in the States. When he asked them how, they said, “you walk like them, in a hurry.” You see, they understood that the walk was a part of the journey, not just a way of getting from here to there.

12. Time is a gift, but time is limited.

13. And when we grasp these first two, we can understand the exhortation that Paul gives to the church in Ephesus. Since time is a gift and because it is limited, don’t waste it. Don’t spend it doing the things that don’t really matter. Do what you can for God, whenever you can. Do what you can for Christ whenever you can. Do what you can for the Holy Spirit whenever you can.

14. Don’t let the enemy tempt you into believing that you have a lot of time or that you can get to honoring God another day. This day is what you have. Today is the present. This is the moment now, do what you can with it. Don’t waste it. Don’t lose it. Use your time to honor God. Let’s be good stewards of your time.

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