“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15,16).
THERE NEEDS TO BE A HEALTHY SENSE OF URGENCY IN OUR LIVES. With regard to that which the Lord wants us to do in His work individually, there is not an unlimited amount of time in which to do that work. Each of us has a window of opportunity, and after that is gone, we will give account for our stewardship of the time given us. We urgently need to “redeem the time,” as Paul put it.
Granted, there is such a thing as an unhealthy urgency. Most of us are familiar with what that’s like. It’s the driven, compulsive, frantic mentality of competitors in the “rat race.” But that is not the way to redeem the time. In fact, nothing is more unproductive.
Jesus showed that it is possible to be very busy and not fall into the “driven” way of thinking. At our busiest, few of us will match the Lord’s activity, yet in the act of being busy, Jesus always had a calm, deliberate way about Him. He knew how to “hasten leisurely,” to work steadily, and even urgently, without losing the peace that was at the center of His being. Jesus knew that He had a “schedule” to meet, and He met it. At the end, He could say, “It is finished” (John 19:30). As His disciples, we need to redeem the time and be able, one day, to say that we have finished our work.
A few days ago, I received an email from Ken Craig, a great friend who does full-time secular work but also manages to do as much work in the Lord as anybody I know. In an earlier email to him, I had mentioned being busy (forgetting to whom I was talking), and he wrote back, “I am in Shanghai, China right now on business, with meetings all day and three-hour Chinese dinners every evening. I had a glorious trip to India in April and had just recovered from that . . . I should be back on Sunday . . . Keep on keeping on. We will rest on the other side.” Ken is not about to miss the window of opportunity that the Lord has given him.
As Gerry Sandusky, another great friend, says, “Heaven is pictured as a place of rest, and I intend to be tired when I get there.” Like Ken, Gerry understands that now is the time for work, a time to spend and be spent. There’ll be time enough for rest later.
“We have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but only one short hour before sunset in which to win them” (Robert Moffat).