Perhaps there is no subject in history that has more adages associated with it than the subject of time. Let me illustrate – “A stitch in time saves nine,” or “There is no time like the present,” or “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” Should I go on? You probably could add to the list.
I wonder why time has always captured our imagination. It’s something we all have the same amount of – but something we all treat differently. I always amuse myself when I hear myself say, “I wish I had more time.” Because the truth is, I have as much time as anyone can have. I guess what I‘m really saying when I say that is, “I wish I could use the time I have better.”
God Himself has quite a bit to say about time. Take a peek at your Bible dictionary under the topic of time – you’ll see many references to this commodity that everyone has the same amount of, yet no one seems to have enough.
When it comes to worship, time takes on even more meaning. Because the act of worship involves the surrender of time – the willful submission of priority and plans to the all deserving One who transcends time itself. And, it requires even more than the surrender of time – it requires the prioritization of our time to accommodate the worship we give to our Creator.
When you think about it, perhaps the establishment of time is just one of the ways God helps us identify just how much we love Him and really want to worship Him. All of us can evaluate where Jesus fits into our life equation by measuring the time we spend with Him. If you think about it, all of our relationships can be measured the same way. Here’s another adage about parenting for you – “Love is spelled t-i-m-e.” If we love someone, we will spend time with them.
But the subject of time is about much more than quantity – it very much reflects the condition of our hearts. Perhaps nowhere in Scripture illustrates this more than Hebrews 3 & 4. Three times in 20 verses the writer says, “Today – if you hear His voice – do not harden your hearts.”
Moses gives us great insight about time in Psalm 90. Verse 12 says, “Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” Want wisdom? Then learn how to value your time. That’s where it starts.
There’s an old joke about two southern farmers discussing where they will take their hogs to market. One good ‘ole boy says to the other, “I’m gonna’ take mine to Chicago – they pay top dollar up there. “ The other one replies, “Man, that’s crazy – that’s 12 hours away – think about the time!” The first one, explains, “Shoot man – time don’t mean nothing to a hog!”
Okay, don’t write me – that’s a bad joke, I know. But time is no joke. And the way we spend it, and the choices we make about each day we live reveal what our true heart attitude about Jesus really is. If we love Him, we will serve Him – we will seek Him. And time won’t matter in light of who He is and what He has done for us.
Let’s serve Jesus. Today is the day.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.