Many of us, including myself, have become so overwhelmed by the tyranny of the urgent that we no longer slow down long enough to keep our priority clear and set reasonable goals with which to reach them. We are franticly running from one thing to the other, most of the time late, and we have little or nothing to show for it in the area of things that really matter. We have been fooled into thinking the crazier our life, family and kids are, the more successful we have or will become. That is just not true.
What we have done is thrown away countless hours into activities, social media, television and well, you can fill in the blank of things I’ve missed that best fits your particular brand of crazy life. As easy as it is to make excuse after excuse as to why we are so busy, it doesn’t change the fact we are too busy. Often our schedule is at the expense of the things in this life that actually matter: our relationship with God Almighty, our marriages, our families and our homes. We think to ourselves we’ll get around to it eventually and we know from experience, we won’t. Things pile up, break down and we become overwhelmed by the inevitable avalanche of the undone and unaccomplished and, the stress of hoarded excuses we can no longer avoid bury us in the fallacy of our best intentions.
Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15–16) To redeem our time could be defined as the deliberate, willful action taken for regaining or gaining possession of our time. Now, if you think time is not a possession of our human existence, I would say to you, time is the only thing we ever truly possess. Here is an example: we give of our “time” to our employer, they have us keep track of it on a “time card” and pay us for our “time”. Time is our barter for substance in this existence from the farmer to the factory worker. So whatever owns your time owns you!
Do we understand the importance of our time, the preciousness found in every priceless second? The Bible says there is wisdom in using our time correctly, and that means spending it on the things which are necessary in light of eternity, not worldly, prosperity. Why? Two reasons, the first is our witness. Paul wrote, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” (Colossians 4:5)
The second reason is, as we have already seen, evil days are upon us. Let’s be honest, you and I live in some strange days. Without question, some of the most bizarre behaviors of humanity have become commonplace. With ungodliness becoming the social norm, we are witness to a younger generation drowning in the self-made mire of an egocentric culture. Their inability to receive correction and instruction in truth is mind-boggling.
Our western culture’s ineptitude to sit still to listen and learn has become epic. Educators at every level, and in every environment, from the classroom to the church sanctuary have begun to think about how to meet the needs of such a screen hungry, instant gratification culture. Church services are shorter, hard truth has been replaced with a 3-part, feel good socioeconomic message, and doctrine that leads to godliness has been overshadowed by wishy-washy messages of culturally relevant morality for the sinful masses.
Now before we go any farther, a quick reality check. These patterns of behavior are learned from somewhere. Is it leftovers from the foolish mistakes from our youth? Is it a new attack against their souls from the world, or is it an old attack we did not prepare them for? Are they just doing what we would have done with the same technological opportunities at their age? We too have cried out countless times, “I’m so bored!” So before we choose to point the finger at technology, maybe part of this behavior has been passed from one generation to another as we allow ourselves to be pulled into the vacuum of new distractions without putting our foot down, drawing a line in the sand and say, “No more, no farther! We will redeem our time and families!” It’s one thing to have good intentions, yet it’s another thing entirely to make the “time” to get it done.