Thrown Off By Time

Thrown Off By Time

DEVOTIONAL WRITTEN BY: RACHEL STONE

As I was scrolling through Instagram I stopped on an ad from a bank. Pictured was a weights and measures balance scale, on the tray to the left was “money” and on the tray to the right was “time.” The scale was in balance. The caption asked, “Which would you rather save?” Interesting question. How would you answer that?

The truth is we value both money and time, often attaching monetary qualities to our sense of time. Name a few common phrases we say about the value of time. I’ll give you an example: “Time is money.” (for the leader, here are a few more: spend time wisely, invest your time, give time, time’s a wasting, my time is valuable, make up for lost time, etc.).

We also regularly associate time with typical daily activities. See how many you can name in about thirty seconds (we’ll time you. Ha!). Examples: “Time flies” and “game time!” After you have a chance to list your own, here are a few more: time to get up, prayer time, dinner time, nap time, time out, me time, study time, play time, time to get going, time off, sick time, overtime, time and a half, off the clock, hard times, good times, party time, time/season of life, when the time is right, high time, beat the clock, in the nick of time, and on and on. It’s a modern version of “there is a time for everything under the sun,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11) yet it represents the same idea.  

Time is life.

Think about that for a moment. We know God gave us life and everything we have is from God, including time. So, we are right to value time, but the trick is to properly value time in light of God’s design for our time. How will we make the most of every opportunity to live out our part in God’s story? When we place our life, our time, in God’s hands we can trust God. God gave us this valuable gift of time wrapped with a bow of balance. God is the best gift giver! 

Go back to the balance scale image. If you were to put your time on one side, with what might God “balance” your time on the other side? 

PRAYER

Creative and gracious God, you are wise and loving. You breathed life into the world and turned chaos into balance. You breathed life into each of us and you put eternity into our hearts so that we long for you. We come to you at this time to seek understanding and wisdom, and to place our daily life into your hands. Stir in our hearts the creative rhythm of your timing so that we properly balance priorities. Bring order to our schedules, and flexibility to adjust as needed. Fix our eyes and hearts on you so that we are open to the many needs of your kingdom surrounding us. For those of us who are overwhelmed with to-do lists, relieve our stresses by gentle (or maybe stronger) reminders to set our minds on things above, not earthly things. Reveal to us ways to alleviate our load, ask for help, and trust in your provision. At times we need to recognize that you send other believers to help carry our burden. For those of us who seem to have too much empty time on our hands, reveal ways you can use us and give us courage, energy, and confidence to begin that journey. Show us places we can help carry another’s load. Activate us God on your behalf. Thank you, God, for showing and helping us to balance our lives so that we make the most of every opportunity. We love you, God. Amen

RELATED SCRIPTURE FOR FURTHER STUDY

Below are related scriptures to read about God’s gift of time. As you read each one, note what it says about time and what speaks to your heart.

  • Ephesians 5:15-17

  • Colossians 4:5

  • Psalm 90:2,4,12,17

  • Psalm 31:15

  • Psalm 139:16  

  • Genesis 1

  • 1 Corinthians 2:7

  • Psalm 104:19

  • Isaiah 55, especially verses 3, 8, and 11

  • John 6:43-48

  • 1 Peter 4:10

  • 2 Peter 3:8-9

  • Colossians 3:1-17

  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-17