Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)
TITLE: Redeeming the Time
By Janice Cartwright
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A homemaker scurries through her day, hopping like a flea from one unfinished piece of work to another. Every time she commences a task, a “but first” need intrudes, another chore she must perform before the one at hand can even be started. When the poor, harried procrastinator looks back on her day, she sees not a single, significant accomplishment. Left behind in the dust of her disorganized frazzle is the optimism of dawn's early light.
The story painted an all-too-accurate picture of a few vignettes I would as soon forget.
In keeping with this, if I am so easily distracted in my small world, how about the vast, unseen spirit realm where God’s purposes dwell? The challenge could be daunting. But by peering at Jesus life, I can be enlightened as regards this celestial and sensible kingdom. For to read through the gospel accounts, is to be continually amazed at His deliberate way of doing things. In only three to three and one half years of ministry, Jesus accomplished the most important work the world has ever known.
Once Jesus’ disciples inquired of Him whether a man, blind from birth, had transgressed, or his parents. His answer surprised them. Neither had sinned: it happened that the works of God might be manifest. The Lord then zoomed through the opening for an object lesson. He must work the works of the One who sent Him while it was day, for the night would come when no man could work.
I too have a limited number of days, known only to God, to accomplish whatever Jesus has sent me to do. *“… As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
This means when it comes to doing the works of the Father, time becomes a most precious article of trade; sadly there have been days when I felt it running, like sand, through my fingers. If only I could be more like Jesus, my agenda would be in perfect agreement with that of my heavenly Father.
And yet Jesus allowed himself what I call holy distractions: appointments from the Father so different from my own mundane diversions. I recall the two blind men at the outskirts of Jericho who cried to the Son of David: the multitudes rebuked them, but Jesus stood still and called to them. He took time to care for those who sat in darkness. More accurately, Jesus never took time: as the author of time, it was His by default.
By the Spirit Jesus knew when His Father’s loving purposes were behind any circumstance. Jesus said, *“The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” Since none could come to the Son except the Father draw him, He would turn no one away. In like manner, if I remain sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, He will teach me all things.
In our present Christian culture, works often get a bad rap; and yet scripture affirms we are created in Christ Jesus for that very purpose. I see a nation crumbling around me: will I fritter away hours on mindless pastimes or trivial pursuits? Or will I be on my knees, beseeching the Father for a people who have lost their way? Will I in Jesus’ name visit the sick and imprisoned, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked, while it is day? Or will I be as one who gropes in the night for oil to fill my lamp?
God made this garment called life from tiny stitches of time. In view of this splendid gift of seconds, minutes, hours, and days, it is my earnest desire for Holy Spirit direction and conviction. If I begin to squander valuable moments on cheap ventures may He prick my conscience, sooner rather than later.
May I redeem the time, for the days truly are evil.
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:14-16 (KJV)
*Scripture references in text: John 20:21 & 5:19 (KJV), respectively.
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