“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).

IT IS INTERESTING THAT, IN TAKING HUMAN FORM, THE LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH SUBMITTED HIMSELF TO THE CONFINES OF SPACE AND TIME. The infinite God allowed Himself to be limited by time-bound considerations. The work that Jesus came to do had to be done during the “day,” because “night is coming when no one can work.” Not even the Son of God had an unlimited number of days in which to do His work. Each day had to be used wisely.

It is a serious thing to “waste time.” Time isn’t a physical commodity, of course, and so we speak of “spending” or “wasting” time only metaphorically. But the metaphor is powerful. Time is the “stuff” of life, and to waste the present day is to throw away the only life that is really ours. “He who neglects the present moment throws away all he has” (Johann Friedrich von Schiller).

With regard to the preciousness of the present moment, you have probably observed that people go to two opposite extremes. Obsessed with not wasting any instant, some people rush through life with a frantic urgency bordering on panic. Others have the exact opposite problem: they slouch through life as if time were an unlimited resource and there was no need to get in a hurry about anything. Both extremes are harmful and counterproductive.

What is needed is an attitude that sees time as a resource over which we’ve been made stewards. This treasure has been committed to us with the understanding that we are to use it to the best possible advantage, and that we will eventually have to give account for our stewardship. Neither frantic urgency nor lazy procrastination will produce good results. It is a wholesome blend of wisdom and self-discipline that uses today as it should be used.

If we fail to use well today’s opportunities, there may be some other ones tomorrow that we can use — but they will be different opportunities. Once lost, today’s possibilities can never be regained. And whatever is lost, by just that much we will have failed to glorify God as fully as we could have. We don’t have so many days coming to us that we can afford to be wasteful. And not only that, each day is unique. Today — this day — won’t ever be back.

“Consider that this day ne’er dawns again” (Dante Alighieri).

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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