How are you spending this most precious resource?
In the human experience there is a great equalizer. No matter who we are—and whether we are rich, poor, or somewhere in between—everyone has the same amount of it. Your life is made of it.
It is your time. Each of us has 24 hours a day—no more and no less.
Our language has many expressions that revolve around time: "Time is of the essence." "Time is money," "Time is fleeting." "Passing the time…" "Killing time…"—and there is the memorable phrase from the book of Galatians, "the fullness of time" (Galatians 4:4).
Each day comes, and each day goes—and that time is gone. Time goes by, whether you use it well or poorly. Most people will tell you they feel pressured by time—that with so many activities, and so many demands made upon them, they have real difficulty getting it all done.
Business pursuits, family obligations and personal activities outstrip the time available to get them all accomplished. Many people deprive themselves of sleep trying to meet all the demands on their time.
Time is so precious that it should come as no surprise that the Bible has much to say about the subject. We see that God created the lights in the firmament "for signs and seasons, and for days and years" (Genesis 1:14). We see that on the seventh day He rested, setting apart the Sabbath as His special holy time (Genesis 2:2–3).
It was King Solomon of ancient Israel, given special wisdom by God, who wrote the memorable and important words, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Yes, there is a time for every right purpose in our activities—and we should set right priorities if we want to be in harmony with God's will.
As Christians, we gain deeper insight into time. We realize, as the Apostle Paul wrote, that time is short (1 Corinthians 7:29). This perspective gave urgency to Paul's message to Christians in Rome: "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy" (Romans 13:11–13).
James, the Lord's brother, put it this way: "For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14). Young people often act like they will live forever, but if you ask elderly people about their lives, they will usually tell you that life is short and time goes by very quickly.
The Apostle Paul made it plain in his letter to the brethren at Ephesus when he wrote: "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15–16).
How, then, do we redeem the time? One way is to avoid wasting time on foolish pursuits. This does not mean that we should not take time to relax—perhaps to enjoy a good book or pursue a stimulating hobby—but it means we should look for activities that glorify God and promote our well-being and the well-being of those around us.
Another key point is that we should honor the time God has set apart—His weekly seventh-day Sabbath and annual Holy Days. These days give us great opportunities to grow closer to Him. To learn more about these days—and how they reveal God's plan for all humanity—please request your free copy of our booklet, The Holy Days: God's Master Plan. You can order it from our regional office nearest you (listed on page 30 of this magazine); you can also read it online or order it at our Web site, www.tomorrowsworld.org.
It is your time—how will you use it?