Life is made up of time. That is, fragments of time when added together make up life. Therefore, it is what you spend most of your time doing that makes up your life. Life is time and time is life! On the contrary, Death is the absence of time, or rather death is ‘life’ that is void of time. The difference between a dead person and a living person is that the latter has time, whereas with the former there is not even a passage of time. Indeed, without time there is no life.
Haven’t you noticed that we define a person by that which they spend most or all of their time doing. A drunkard is someone who spends most of his or her time drinking, just as a surgeon is someone who devotes most of his time performing surgical operations in the theatre. You cannot be labelled a neurosurgeon when a large portion of your time is spent in the hotel serving numerous guests. To put it more plainly, experience in any line of work is, to a great extent determined by the time one would have taken on that work. Yes, we also look into the knowledge one would have acquired, but the truth of the matter is that the first and most considered determinant of experience is time.
It was not by chance that the disciples of Christ were called Christians. These people spent virtually all of their ministerial lifetime speaking, teaching and healing in the name of Jesus Christ. The name Christ was the burden of their tongues and thoughts. Ultimately, the citizens of Antioch (where they spent almost a year preaching about Christ) gave them the name Christians. Time dictates everything!
Just in case you were not aware; if you take a coup d’oeil in the first book of the Bible, you will notice that God blessed time, “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made” (King James Version, Genesis 2:3). To God, time is not just any other thing; it is what defines and gives tone to human existence! Matthew 16:24 drives the point home, “Then Jesus said unto His disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." But how are we to follow Him when He is no more physically present in this world? To follow Christ is to spend time with Him, to be where He is all the time. On a spiritual level, to be vitally connected with God we ought to allocate time for reading His word (which is the expression of His will to mankind), live lives which are in perfect harmony with His word (of course, this includes sharing the glad tidings of salvation to others), and set aside time for communing with Him in prayer.
In essence, just as a student who does not devote his time into attending lectures and studying is destined to fail, a Christian who does not dedicate his time to the Lord everyday cannot be a Christian for long. Otherwise, he will be a superficial Christian. Remember the parable of the wheat and tares as recorded in Matthew 13:24-32? Obviously, the tares represent those who profess to be followers of Christ yet they never sit at the feet of the Master to learn from Him.
More often than not, we value the time we spend with our families, friends and loved ones. At times we even go to holidays, outings and picnics just so we can have quality time with people we cherish in our lives. But how much of our time do we set aside for the Lord? Do you ever really allocate a special time in a day when you are alone with God? A time when it is only you and God: no cell phone, no Facebook, no WhatsApp, no Twitter, no children, no wife, no husband around! Usually, we fall into a trap of concluding that this issue of spending quality time applies to a married or a courting couple only. A resounding NO! God is craving our attention too; He misses us! Yet we are too pre-occupied to even give Him a place in our daily schedules. Amid the busy cares of our life of toil, we are most likely to forget that God is waiting for us. He is longing and thirsting for our time. And unless we earnestly devote our time to Him, we will soon lose interest in eternal truths.
Richard W. O’Ffill puts it elegantly, “People who are growing spiritually, who enjoy what it means to be overcomers...are the people who have set aside a special time every day to be alone with God. If we are going to have a thriving spiritual life, we have to spend time at it. The cares of this life are all but choking out the spiritual lives of countless people” (The Transforming Prayer 116 and 117).
Undoubtedly, much as a husband and a wife have to plan time to be together and enjoy the company of each other without the interference of their kids and other family members, even so must we wisely plan how we spend time alone with our Lord. Our relationship with God is determined by how much and how well we spend our time with Him. Hence Ellen White said, “Guard jealously your hours for prayer, Bible study, and self-examination. Set aside a portion of each day for a study of the Scriptures and communion with God." The key word here is jealously. That means we should never allow anything (even that which we think will bring us material gain) to meddle in our appointment with His Majesty. She concludes by saying, “Thus you will obtain spiritual strength, and will grow in favour with God” (Gospel Workers 100).
Beloved, God is craving your time. What do you spend most of your time doing, thinking or even talking about? What do you do in the morning when you wake up; who is the first person you talk to when you wake up? What about in the hush of the night before you sleep? When it’s quiet and the sounds and the noises of this world are asleep, what do you meditate about? “The hours of morning and evening worship should be the sweetest and most helpful of the day” (Child Guidance 522).
God is earnestly searching for people who will daily set aside time for communion with Him, and you are one of them! Grab this chance and enjoy the spiritual riches fresh from the heavenly throne.
Indeed, time well-spent is life well-lived! God Bless You!