Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Time-consuming (02/24/11)
TITLE: Consuming or Redeeming
By Fern Brown
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Every activity in life takes time. It is up to each of us to decide if it will be time-consuming or time investing.
Is there a difference? I didn't think so until I looked up 'consume' in the dictionary. I thought time-consuming meant 'taking a lot of time'. It has come to mean that in today's language. However, the definition of consume is to waste, squander or spend wastefully and destroy. That puts a new light on the subject!
All of us are guilty of wasting time. I waste time trying to remember which folder I used for filing certain papers. Then I waste more time trying to find the folder. Next I look through different piles of papers that haven't been filed yet, resulting in much lost time.
My cell phone isn't always in its place because I use it constantly while multi-tasking throughout the house. When I’m finished, I drop it where I happen to be at that moment. If it’s turned on, I find it easily by using the home phone to dial the cell phone. Most of the time the sound is muted, making it a game of ‘find me if you can.’
We won't even talk about the time I spend searching for my car keys. When our kids were teenagers they each had their own set of house and car keys, in case Mom lost hers...again.
Sometimes boredom leads to watching television, which squanders time from more profitable pursuits. It is easy to put our minds in neutral and let others do our thinking for us. If we view things that displease God, we waste time on guilt-trips, until we repent and gain forgiveness.
Laziness robs us of time. Being a work-a-holic may cheat us out of time, as well.
Time-consuming activities result from an imbalance in our lives. On the other hand, investing our time wisely and honoring God with it comes from living a balanced life. God gives everyone the same number of hours in a day to invest in the lives of others, not to live only for ourselves.
The phone ringing while my hands are immersed in dishwater is not a welcome sound. I am learning to take a deep breath while praying for wisdom and guidance in the conversation. If it is a telemarketer, I wisely say, "Can you hold while I finish my dishes?" If it is a friend or family member I enjoy the conversation and try to speak words that please God.
I know my responsibilities as a wife, mother and grandmother are top priorities and require much investment. If my house is cluttered, so is my mind and focusing on the family is a trial. If it is spotless, I want it to stay that way. If I spend a reasonable amount of time in cleaning, I enjoy the family. Planning meals, shopping for groceries and preparing meals are an investment of time when I consider their needs above my desires. Otherwise, it becomes another time-consuming demand.
All of us are guilty of spending time wastefully, but God’s Word says we can also redeem it or buy it back. Visiting the sick, attending church, fellowshipping with other believers, prayer and Bible reading, spreading the gospel and meeting the needs of others are ways to redeem the time. Since none of us knows how long we will live, we need to determine to use every minute, hour and day to bring honor and glory to God and invest time in His activities. Time invested, rather than time consumed, will bring eternal rewards.
Ephesians 5:16KJV Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
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