Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
As we walk headlong into this new year let us take a moment to consider what it is we wish to accomplish. Taking a look at Genesis 1, we note what God did and apply it to life today. The first three concepts were Balance, Definition, and Priorities. Today we, again, return to the first chapter of Genesis to see what God is expressing.
14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will serve as signs for festivals and for days and years. 15 They will be lights in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to have dominion over the day and the lesser light to have dominion over the night—as well as the stars. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth, 18 to dominate the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 Evening came and then morning: the fourth day.
- We note in these verses that time has been established. For the first three “days” there was no established time markers. However, now there are lights in the sky to separate day and night and give signs. Time is a precious commodity in our lives. I never seem to have enough time unless it is something I don’t want to do then time drags on forever! How about you? If time is so precious then we should make good use of it, right? Steven Covey in First Things First draws a box with four quadrants like the one below.
- Now look at this. Really take a look. Where is most of your time spent? For most of us we spend all of our time in 1 and 3 which leads to diving into 4. In The Tyranny of the Urgent, by Charles E. Hummel in 1967, we see the following:
Don’t let the urgent take the place of the important in your life. Oh, the urgent will really fight, claw, and scream for attention. It will plead for our time and even make us think we’ve done the right thing by calming our nerves. But the tragedy of it all is this: while you and I were putting out the fires of the urgent (an everyday affair), the important thing was again left in a holding pattern. And interestingly, the important is neither noisy or demanding. Unlike the urgent, it patiently and quietly waits for us to realize its significance.Time is not the enemy. Time simply marks the days, weeks, months, and years. Time provides signs and seasons. The enemy is the urgent matters. They must be kept under careful watch. There are urgent matters that should, rather ought, to be handled. Too, there are those matters which seem urgent but could be handled by others or set aside for the important. May we not be confused. When we have chosen balance, definition, and priority we are enabled to make wise use of time. Otherwise, at the end of this year and we will look back wondering where it went and feel depression because we cannot really think of what has been accomplished. We will be tired. We will want a break. We will have been busy. Yet, if we succumb to the urgent too much over the important we will have not been beneficial to us, our families, or to the Kingdom of God.Time is the coin of life. How will you spend yours this year? Start today.