I’m convinced that the pandemic has warped time. In the before times (life before the pandemic), time already felt like it was flying, but at least we had firmer boundaries. Our work time, family time, worship time, and leisure time had specific points of demarcation. Now, the boundaries that kept those various aspects of our lives in place have been subsumed in the vortex of the pandemic. It feels like time is slowing down and speeding up simultaneously.
Even our ability to perceive time has been distorted. Just in case you’re tempted to think this is a figment of my imagination, researchers have found that our perception of time is skewed due to the pandemic, and according to scientists the earth did spin faster on June 29, 2022. It’s giving time warp simulation with a pinch of The Twilight Zone, y’all! More often than not, K-Ci & Jojo’s off-key canticle, “Time is Slipping Away From Me,” is playing on a loop in my mind. (I’d like to submit this song for consideration into the canon of negro spirituals, but I digress.)
Time is a curious thing. As human beings, we seem to experience an inverse relationship with it. The younger we are, the more abundant time seems. As we get older and more intimately acquainted with our finitude, the more fleeting time appears to become. And when we consider time in reference to our personal, physical, financial, and career goals over the span of a new year (or a one-year, five-year, or even ten-year plan)—then poof! time becomes a vapor. If you’re anything like me, anxiety begins to set in at the thought of everything I want to accomplish juxtaposed with what’s left of this year—and the years to come, Lord willing.
Perhaps the fleeting nature of time is why the Bible continually reminds us to take stock of the varying seasons in our lives. Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build” (3:1-3). And in Psalms, we are to ask God, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (90:12).
Throughout Scripture, God continually urges us to embrace wisdom and discernment, so we know what is worthy of our time, attention, intention, and how to best use this precious resource given to us.
The very thought of how limited our time is, in connection with our goals and aspirations, can be daunting. The good news is that what God requires, God supplies. In the book of James, we are invited to ask God for wisdom, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (1:5). We have the assurance that God will give it to us, so that we can know what we ought to do with our time and when to do it.
As if that was not enough, we have a beautiful promise that calms my anxious heart, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands” (Psalm 138:8). We are not left alone to figure all of this out. We get to partner with God to fulfill our purpose and goals at their appointed times. Our time is always in God’s capable hands, so let’s steward it well.
How will you use wisdom to determine what does and does not deserve your time?Leave a Comment