2. My time is God's and matters a lot, so let's get ultra-productive.So much to do! I should get more involved in ministry, invest more in relationships, read more, serve more? How can I make the day serve these goals?
We are called to use the time we're given intentionally and well. But this approach causes us to become manic about our hours, striving to bend them to serve our efforts and schedules. The attempt to subjugate and control time leaves us stressed and proud. We cease to rest in Christ and look to ourselves instead of God to order and direct our days.
As seen in the printer episode, I often fall into this camp. When my time is wasted I feel wronged. I become greedy for the time I've lost.
But what do "wasted" and "lost" mean when the time's not mine anyway? Who knows what God may be doing in times that to me appear useless? Take Paul and his months in prison. Talk about an apparent time-waster. I'm fretting over a few miserable hours hunched over my printer while he's imprisoned unjustly for years. Couldn't God have used Paul more fruitfully elsewhere? Evidently not.
In the end, we edge God out in both scenarios. The self-indulgent person is too lazy and distracted to seek God diligently. And the overly busy person's hours are too full and her mindset too fragmented to seek God diligently. Whether we let time slip idly by or do a power-grab at it - either way, we aren't keeping God at the center.
The Psalmist writes: "But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ?You are my God.' My times are in your hands." (31: 14-15) God is trustworthy. As we intentionally and willingly return our times - our days, hours, minutes - to his hands, He will ensure that, from an eternal standpoint, they are perfectly spent.