Every spring break, I take the time to work on a home-improvement project. This year, it was renovating my bathroom. Since I work for the school system, spring break is a great time to do these projects, because I don’t have to go to work and my kid spends the week at his grandmother’s house. However, something strange occurred that threw a wrench in that plan this year: COVID-19. With everything shutting down and the economy uncertain, we agreed that the expense of renovating our already-functional bathroom was a little frivolous and possibly irresponsible. But then we got a little excited, because now I have plenty of time to do some serious spring cleaning and some outside maintenance.
But something else strange happened during this time. With nothing needing to run on a strict schedule like before, I found myself moving at a slower pace and letting the time slip away.
I bring this up because, although we all are making sacrifices and going without certain luxuries, one thing that many of us seem to have in abundance now is time. In Ephesians 5:15–16, the Apostle Paul writes, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” As I write this, I realize that I haven’t redeemed my time very well. The problem with having an unspecified amount of free time on our hands is that we tend to feel that we have all the time in the world, and we lose our sense of urgency.
This brings to mind another scripture, Proverbs 27:1: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Throughout scripture, we’re told that life is fleeting and that we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. We need to make the most of the time that we have, when we have it. That means taking care of the tasks at hand and not procrastinating. Yes, there are urgent matters that pop up that can distract us from our duties. Yes, there are times when weather, illness, or other circumstances prevent us from staying on task. But we need to prioritize what really is important and make sure that we redeem our time. For me, that meant getting out of bed on time and prioritizing my “quarantine honey-do” list. However, as I sit here and put these thoughts together, I realize that the real priority is making the most of this time with which God has blessed me by reestablishing my relationship with Him and my family.
As I look back at my honey-do list (and my lack of progress on it), I can see what I have accomplished. I’ve spent more time with my family without constantly checking my watch. I’ve also had more time to sit on my deck and enjoy God’s creation, study His word, the Bible, and pray without feeling rushed. I may not have redeemed the time in exactly the way I had originally intended, but I have been able to slow down, think, and do the truly important things in my life.
Maybe that’s something very important we can learn from all of this: COVID-19, and the effects it has brought, may be a trial or a curse for many, but it also may be an opportunity to take time amidst hardship to reflect on and take care of what is truly needful—a lesson about redeeming and making the most of any time we’ve been given.
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