Using Your Time Productively

When I was a child in elementary school, people often asked me, “What is your favorite subject?” Invariably my response was one of two things. I either said, “recess” or “gym.” My answer revealed my deepest predilections. I preferred play to work. Indeed, my nascent philosophical musing regarding the cosmic “Why?” questions took place as I made a game of walking to school via tiptoeing along a long path, pretending I was a high-wire walker in a circus.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

I asked myself the meaning of life wherein I had to spend five days a week doing what I didn’t want to do just so I could play on the weekends. I was always at the schoolyard a full hour before school began—not out of a zeal for getting a head start on my studies, but so I could “redeem” the daily grind by having an hour’s worth of fun on the playground before the school bell rang. For me, time redemption meant rescuing precious minutes of play from the required hours of work.

My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.

I’ve come to realize that when the apostle Paul exhorted his readers to “[redeem] the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16), my practices are not exactly what he had in mind. His was a solemn call to the productive use of one’s time in the labor of Christ’s kingdom.

But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Do you use your time productively for the kingdom of God?

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