Time Is NOT On My Side

Raise your hands if you are a card-carrying member of the procrastination club. Are you that person who knows a deadline is coming; a school project, car maintenance, a dental visit, you fill in the blank?  So many of us fit into this very large club like a glove. When I was in college, I was notorious for pulling all-nighters to get papers written. I would go to the library, photocopy a bunch of pages out of different books, then pull all of those out and get on it. I’d make a pot of coffee that I would drink throughout the night to guarantee I’m not falling asleep. The day that followed would be filled with regret.

Thankfully, at 50, I’m much better at managing my time than I was 25 years ago. That doesn’t mean I don’t slip into that mode on occasion. Having two 6-year-olds (Irish twins) doesn’t really help with concentration. As a matter of fact, I’ve been home with my son all day due to his procuring of the flu. I’m writing this at 10pm, because my son is a little high maintenance and highly entertaining. Both of those things make my ADHD go nuts and make me incapable of sitting down to write anything. Time management is truly a skill we all need to master, but very few of us do. 

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:15–17

Two days ago, we read this verse as we talked about how we need to constantly be aware of what is going on around us. Today, I want to focus more on “making the best use of time, because the days are evil.” The “smartphone” has changed our world. People used to go to restaurants to engage in conversation, but now we just see people staring at screens. Whether it’s social media or video games, our phones own us. According to a study by reviews.org, the average American spends 4 hours and 25 minutes a day on their phones. That number is up from 2022 when it was 2 hours and 54 minutes. 60% of people sleep with their phones. 89% check their phones within the first 10 minutes of waking up, and 75% use them on the toilet. And this isn’t a generational thing. Generation Z is the most likely to check for notifications every five minutes at 80.41% of them. Millennials are the least likely at 73.4%. Boomers and Gen Xers are somewhere in between. 

If we’re sleeping for 6 to 8 hours a day, eating for a couple of hours, working for 8 hours, then spending 4.5 hours on our phones, and maybe watching 2 to 3 hours of TV at night, there’s not a lot of time in there for Jesus. It’s no wonder that Paul calls the days evil. We’ve got our noses in a screen for almost a quarter of a 24-hour day. The worst part is that 57% of Americans say they are addicted to their phones. This is becoming a heart issue that we can’t ignore anymore. 

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
1 John 2:15–16

Despite the fact that we can carry the Bible in our pocket, in multiple translations and languages, every day we are becoming less and less able to quote scripture. However, we can quote lines from the Office, or a TikTok that we just watched, or go on a rant about some political video we just saw on YouTube. We have lost a grip on our time. We will bust our backsides to make sure our kids have all their sports gear ready to go so they won’t be late to practice, but we’ll walk in 10 minutes late to church. We will make sure we never miss a tournament or competition that happens to be on a Sunday, but if we’re just not feeling it on that same day we’ll just skip church this week. Again, it’s a heart issue.

Our two greatest assets are money and time. We’ve already talked enough about being good stewards of our money, but we’re probably way worse at being good stewards of our time. We live in a society of entertainment. Movies, the internet, sports, music, and streaming services dominate our time. “Netflix and chill” isn’t just something we do on the weekend, it’s become a daily routine for many. We’ve slowly become Rome near the end of their empire. 

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
2 Timothy 3:2–5

Paul was watching the slow decay of a once powerful government and people who were becoming a shell of themselves. Read through that verse again and you’ll see just how much America is like that today. Where you put your resources matters, and time is a resource we can’t recover. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. We should be actively looking for ways to spend time with God, serving God, and serving others in God’s name. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Serve God by doing common actions in a heavenly spirit, and then, if your daily calling only leaves you cracks and crevices of time, fill them up with holy service.”

We really are in a holy battle over the hearts and souls of man. We can’t be part-time Christians who don’t MAKE time for God throughout the day. 

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
Colossians 4:5

The best ability we have is availability. When we schedule God out of our day, we can’t expect Him to sit around and wait for us. The Bible isn’t our story. It’s God’s story, and He allows us to play a part in it. As Paul said in Colossians, make “the best use of the time.” There’s nothing wrong with downtime and resting. The problem comes when our “rest time” happens all the time. God will always get the leftovers if we aren’t properly managing our day.

I’m so glad my college days, and my incessant procrastination, are in the rearview. It’s up to me to keep them there. If God is worthy of our praise, worship, and giving, He’s worthy of our time. Besides, if you truly love someone, don’t you want to spend as much time with them as you can?

1 Comment

Emily - March 12th, 2024 at 10:21pm

Come on!!!! This is SO GOOD!