I find that the less time I have, the more efficient I am. For example, when my kids are in school all day, I get relatively little done around the house. But when they had VBS a few weeks ago for two hours each morning, boys howdy, did I get stuff done. I accomplished more in those few hours each day than I normally do in an entire week. Since I knew I’d have the house mostly to myself, I planned ahead for the “big chores” like steam mopping and cleaning the garage and using a shop vac on the van. I made the most of the time and cut out other distractions to finish what I needed to do, knowing that I had a fixed amount of time. Same holds true for the vacation we just had going “back home.” Living 1300 miles away, we can’t just go there for a weekend. It’s a huge ordeal to get back, so I had to plan ahead to make sure I saw everyone I wanted to see and go everywhere I wanted to go. We basically had to pack an entire summer into 9 days, so we made the most of every moment. After all, the clock was ticking.
I’m not the only one who experiences this phenomenon, and others have expressed it far more poignantly than I. Tim McGraw sings about it in his song Live Like You Were Dying, in which a man with a chronic illness lists off all the things he finally did once he found out how limited his time really was. Thornton Wilder also expresses this sentiment of treasuring each moment of life in his play Our Town, when Emily relives her 12th birthday and realizes how fleeting time is. She asks the Stage Manager if anyone truly understands the value of life while they live it, and he responds, “No. The saints and poets, maybe; they do some.” Why is that? It seems like the more time we have, the more we tend to put things off. I can do that later, we rationalize to ourselves. And so we waste time on trivial things rather than making time for the things that really matter.
Believe it or not, even the Bible has something to say about using time wisely. Ephesians 5:15-16 follows a section that exhorts us to walk as children of the light, concluding with these words: “Be very careful, then, how you live- not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (NIV) The ESV says “making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” But Paul isn’t talking here about prioritizing chores around the house. He has something much more important in mind- living out one’s faith as a witness to others. He speaks of this again in Colossians 4:5. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t make the most of every opportunity. But make no mistake- time is running out. If you knew the world would end tomorrow, who would you tell about Jesus today? Well, then, what are you waiting for? Make the most of every opportunity God sends your way. Live a life worthy of a child of the light. But don’t stop there. Tell others about your Savior. Invite a friend or neighbor to church or Bible class with you. Be willing and ready to tell them what God has done for you by sending His only Son. Share with them that Jesus died for them, too. That message can’t wait. It’s too good to keep to yourself. It’s too important. After all, the clock is ticking.