People look at me funny when I tell them that my time in quarantine was actually very peaceful and purposeful. Yes, of course it had its challenges and yes, of course it was and is caused by a brutal disease, but in the midst of it, I had the gift of time.
- Time with my children, with no constraints and schedule
- Time to not rush but move at their pace
- Time to be in nature, to linger over little bugs and flowers, to marvel at the sky and the wind and the rain
- Time to cook meals and choose healthy food to eat
- Time to exercise, regularly (and to take a shower afterward)
- Time to answer all the “why?s” that little boys and girls ask all day long
- Time to talk with my husband
- Time to relax and cuddle with my family on the couch
- Time to reach out to those who need encouragement
- Time to call relatives and friends and talk with them
- Time to read books, to study whatever I chose, to delve into subjects for the joy of learning (or the discipline of character)
- Time to write, to edit, to create
- Time to rest – in the sunshine, in the shade, in the sunny little spot in our office, or nestled in the corner of our couch, watching Daniel Tiger or Mr. Rogers
- Time to minister through cards and texts, through writing and phone calls, through meals cooked or projects made
But it’s not just recently that time became a gift – only that I realized it as a gift (or perhaps realized AGAIN. I am a slow learner). I have been impressed with the weightiness of my time: the brevity of it, the difficulty of learning how to balance it, to be self-controlled, to be wise in my use of it.
But really, this is all misleading. This is not, nor has it ever been, “my” time. It was always a gift, it was always given in trust, something to be used for the glory of God and not for my own purposes. The Psalmist puts it like this:
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom ~ Psalm 90:12
God reminds us that good use of our time is necessary.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. ~ Ephesians 5:15-16
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. ~ Colossians 4:5
Ah, there is the difficulty – good use of time requires that small but hard to live word – wisdom. Paul reminds us that “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25).
And of course, that’s just the problem. Too often, we let our time be consumed with frivolous, temporal things – stuff. We get distracted and replace the wisdom of God with our own knowledge, our own thoughts, our own desires. If I strove more to do what God wants rather than what Tracy wants, I would find not just wisdom, not just “the best” use of time – I would find Him. And His purposes, His plans, His time is always better.