Last weekend, my wife and kids went to NC to visit my in-laws (I couldn’t make it this time). I decided it would be a great time to watch the Lord of the Rings movies… the extended editions (the shortest one is a quick 3 and a half hours). As I watched the third installment (The Return of the King), a line stuck out to me. Gandalf, the white wizard, has to ride to the city of Minas Tirith to warn them of the coming battle. He has to ride quickly, because the enemy was already moving to strike. As he mounts his horse, Gandalf utters (and this is a bad paraphrase), “300 lifetimes of men I have walked, and now I have no time.”
As I write this, my grandma Violet is still living at the age of 102. We don’t know how much time she has left. She’s weak and frail, and rarely exhibits the joy for life that she once had not too long ago. 102 years seems like such a long time. Yet, for those who’ve reached such an age, with little time left on this earth, it may not seem so long.
Psalm 90 has a lot to say about time. The author, Moses (the same Moses who wrote the first five books of the Bible, broke the 10 commandments, and crossed the Red Sea), writes about how God is (for lack of a better term) “timeless”. He writes that 1,000 years in God’s sight is like yesterday when it passes by. Moses then writes about the anger of God at the sin of the people. Look what he writes in Psalm 90:10-12,
As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away. Who understands the power of Your anger, and Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
Time flies… and we tend to waste it.
We’re living in the most technologically advanced age of any time in human history (and all indications say that we ain’t seen nothin’ yet). Much of this technology is meant to save us time. All it has done is made us busier. We tend to have less time for people (unless we can chat or text with them on our way to check off the next thing on our busy list). We have less and less time for God. We’re too busy to read our Bibles. We’re too busy to pray. We’re too busy to notice the pain of people. We give God 60-90 minutes on a Sunday, and think we’ve done our duty.
We’re wasting time.
We think we’ve got all the time in the world.
One day, our “clock” will run out.
How will we look back on our life? For so many people, they’ll look back with regret. They didn’t spend enough time on the truly important things: relationships. They didn’t spend enough time in their family relationships, in their friendships, in their relationship with God, etc.
How can we keep from wasting so much time? How can we, as Moses wrote, number our days–make the most of our time–so that we may present a heart of wisdom to God?
A good place to start is humility. The world does not revolve around me. It doesn’t not revolve around you. So many of us are so self-centered that we’re blind to those around us. We don’t see their need. We don’t see their pain. All we can see is ourselves. Some of us need to get over ourselves. We’re not “all that.” When compared to a totally holy, righteous God, we’re nothing. Our sin has turned our “goodness” into a used tampon (yeah, that’s what Isaiah 64:6 really says–our good deeds are like a menstrual garment).
Another way to develop a heart of wisdom is contentment. We spend way too much time, money, and effort acquiring stuff. Much of it, we honestly don’t need. Think of all the good we could do to others with the time, effort, and money wasted on stuff we don’t need. Check out this jacked up, awesome post on contentment (it made me feel guilty for buying a $10 7 wood golf club yesterday).
Finally (this post is getting long), we need to develop a heart that beats in time with God’s. That means developing a sense of mission and passion for the gospel of Jesus. The only way that happens is to immerse ourselves in Scripture, prayer, and community with other followers of Jesus who are willing to get out into the world and, guerrilla style, serve the world with the love of Jesus.
So how will you “redeem” your time?