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Managing God’s Golden Moments

Ephesians 5:15-17 reminds us time should be viewed as a tool and not a toy — "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." How are we living our lives? Circumspectly, that is carefully, or carelessly? Is Heaven our constant goal? Do we daily study and use the Bible as our roadmap for life? Do we use very much time to pray and know and serve God more faithfully? Or does the end of this year find us no further along in our spiritual development than this same time last year? Are you redeeming the time? These days are evil, too. And one of the most evil things about them is the endless list of good but secondary things that keep us so busy we don't take time for God-given priorities in our lives. We fritter with Twitter for hours, and with Facebook, TV, texting, emails, Ipods, and a host of other activities which bring us pleasure but very little spiritual profit. The apostle warns us a careless use of time will in the end leave us foolish and unwise as it concerns the Lord and His will for our lives.

In a world that shows no sign of slowing down, we must be wise managers of the time God grants us on earth. The year 2011 will contain 525,600 minutes. Each of them holds great promise if we redeem them. I love the story of the old graduate who visited his alma mater and was called upon, unexpectedly, to give a chapel talk. Being unprepared, he asked the students what to talk about. "About a minute," someone yelled. He promptly obliged as follows: "In an old schoolbook I read this — 'Lost yesterday, between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.' You and I have two great gifts that go along with life — energy and time. We cannot waste either without loss to ourselves. We may fool ourselves into thinking that little things to not really matter, but they are the only things that do. A minute may seem little, but it is large enough for the greatest people to build their lives upon. You can say thank you several times in 60 seconds. You can launch cheery words to some discouraged pal in a minute. You can look up from the table and thank your mother or sister or wife for the artistry of their cooking. You can get a new idea in a minute, or learn something well worth remembering in the same short time. It takes but a minute to read ten verses in the Bible. You can change the course of a life in a minute. You can sing the stanza of some cheery song or let a prayer for personal guidance run through your mind. A phone call to inquire about a sick friend takes but a minute. The use of minutes mars or makes our days, and when it is all over it takes but a minute to stop breathing" (author unknown). Today 1,440 minutes will fly by, one by one. What we do with them makes a difference. A gospel song challenges and chills thoughtful people: "Swiftly we're turning life's daily pages. Swiftly the hours are changing to years. How are we using God's golden moments? Shall we reap glory, shall we reap tears?" onto Our Hands by Ruth Johnson Carruth; verse 1)  What you do with God in time will determine what God does with you in eternity. Are you listening?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ