The following article is an opinion piece and reflects the views of only the author and not those of AllOnGeorgia.
Attending a funeral, an adult son delivered a eulogy for his father. He said something that has stuck with me for more than twenty years. “Love is spelled T-I-M-E.” This man’s father spent time with him and he counted it a gift above anything else a father could give a child. Time is a funny thing, isn’t it? Time gives everyone 24 hours, 1440 minutes and 864,000 seconds each day. No more, no less. So how can time vary from day to day or from person to person?
Albert Einstein said, “Time is an illusion.” It certainly feels that way when I look back and remember waiting for Christmas as a child and time seemed to stretch out indefinitely. However, after becoming a mom, it seems like time has condensed and suddenly I have teenagers. How can we quantify time in the life of the believer?
Jesus had a lot to say about time. In his late twenties, he told his brothers that his time had not yet come, meaning his time for public ministry (John 7:6). In the same chapter, he tells the crowd, “I am with you only for a short time”. (verse 33). We know that once Jesus’ ministry was made public, it only lasted three years. Now, there is a time quandary; a three year ministry that changed all of eternity!
Jesus’ ministry tells us that it is less about the amount of time we have and all about how our time is spent. He begins The Parable of the Ten Virgins, “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom.” You may remember from this parable that five of the virgins were foolish and did not take any oil for their lamps. The other five were wise and took jars of oil along with them for their lamps. Matthew 25:1-13
Then the time came; the midnight cry rang out and those whose lamps were burning entered in to the wedding banquet and the door was shut. Then later the others came. I think about that word “later”. The time that passed after the door had been shut. That time experienced must have been slow and agonizing for the virgins whose lamps were not burning . “Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
This warning “keep watch” tells us to spend the time that we have with our lamps burning for the Lord. He is the anointing oil for our lamps and without time spent in relationship with the Bridegroom, we will not be ready to enter into the banquet. The creator of time himself was kind enough to show us how our time can be best used through His word.
When Billy Graham was asked, what has surprised you most about life, he answered, “the brevity of it”. Billy Graham lived to be 99 years old. Many may laugh at his observation, but his lamp was burning at both ends for the kingdom of heaven. Though 99 seems like a long time to us the scripture says like grass we are here today and gone tomorrow. It matters deeply how our brief time upon this earth is spent.
That brings me back to how love is spelled, T-I-M-E. Your heavenly father has all the time in the world for you. Every second of every day he is near to you and he is for you. Does your time reflect love towards Him? I encourage you to think about the way you allocate your time. Time spent on the eternal will become eternal time.
By: Nadolyn Lee
Nadolyn has served in church ministry in the areas of music, children and youth for over thirty years. She is creator of ‘Dirt Road Believer’ YouTube channel where she produces Christian devotions every Tuesday and Thursday. Her home is in Summerville, GA with her husband and four children.