Time is an all important resource. It is so precious that wasting it is inevitably a great injustice. Every person does whatever they do within a given timespan. That is why we talk of birth, marriage and even death. Further, we get defined agewise based on the time we’ve spent on the face of the earth. Additionally, the history and essence of our being is assessed in terms of time. Time is so central, such that to talk of days and nights, seasons and moments, we still have to consider time. I guess this is why the Preacher emphatically states that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” in Ecclesiastes 3:1. Time tends to circumvent everything under the sun. And from the text above, there is nothing under heaven that can happen unless at a given time… This is additionally reiterated in Ecclesiates 3:17 when the author expands his discussion even to touch on God‘s judgment for “the righteous and wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work“. Thus, God appoints specific happenings within specific timelines on the face of this earth. And this takes place in His own way, that is why He makes everything beautiful in its own time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Time should, therefore, be redeemed and utilized well. It shouldn’t be prodigally spent. Instead, the seasons ought to be understood for an effective living. I tend to like what the sons of Issachar are remembered for. They “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). The fact that many things tend to happen around and within us, doesn’t necessarily mean that they ought to happen that way. I cherish this singular gifting of discerning when the various things in one’s life ought to happen. I imagine that the sons of Issachar had the responsibility to tell the Israelites what they were to do and when. Isn’t it awesome just to know, when you are to do everything that relates to your life? That actually comes by being connected with the giver of the very time, God.
As I write on this, I must state that I haven’t been the best at it at all! I have had my own struggles with time. Like, I have grappled with when I am to go to bed and consequently wake up. When I am to have my personal devotion and moments of reflection. When I am to visit friends and when I am to have my “me” time. The various struggles have opened my eyes to the beauty of adjusting and learning by observing. I have observed several people here in Trondheim and how they keep their appointments and even harness their interactions with people. And I agree that the discipline I have noted is quite impressive!! Norwegians are generally great timekeepers. In fact, every time I am with them, I feel like I need to keep sitting down and learn from them on this very pertinent matter.
Being both a spiritual gift and a cultural factor, it is very crucial for one to take all the necessary steps in adapting the crucial discipline of keeping time. Thus, in order to keep my various appointments, I have had to adjsut the clock such that it is always ahead. It sounds funny and wierd but it has really come through for me. I was just joking with one of my new friends that I have no choice but to have my alarm clock ahead by about one hour. This has, therefore, given me the time to prepare and catered for all the times I do snooze the clock before finally waking up. My phone clock has remained 10 minutes ahead so as to get to the bus stop on time; and to avert the bad behavior of running after the bus. The keeping of time is culturally observed as being at the core of expressing one’s respect for the other person in Norway. And I think that this also makes God happy just to know that His own children are taking good care of the resource they have freely received from Him. When Paul writes to the Ephesians and asks them to “redeem the time for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16), I believe he had the sound intention of reminding the believers to make the best use of every time they have as they live in this evil world. This was to evidently indicate the centrality of time and to depict the brevity of man’s life as stated in James 4:14; Psalms 89:47-48, 39:5.
I am convinced that the conclusison of the matter is that we are to serve God fully within the short time that we have to live on earth. In this line, we should enhance our relationship with Christ and appreciate that He remains to be the author and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).