Have you ever crawled between the crisp, smooth covers of your sheets, breathed a sigh of comfort at finally resting your tired bones on the cushiony softness of your mattress, only to lay there wondering where the past sixteen hours went?
You envision your day, hour by hour, knowing you were busy but can’t understand why you weren’t able to accomplish as much as you needed or wanted to, and you lay there wondering, where does the time disappear to?
I don’t know about you but I find the days whiz by faster, yet I accomplish less. Granted, in some ways, this is age-related – these bones move a little slower than they used to – but I believe there is more to it than that; younger women complain of the same problem.
Our society, our culture, has promoted a mentality of do more – be more and then places a multitude of distractions into the mix; computers, binge-watching of your favourite show, and cell phones.
Cell phones are, I believe, one of the biggest time wasters that the past two generations have fallen victim to. They have become almost an extension of our hand, never very far from reach.
I have been guilty of this phenomenon myself.
What began as a tool for communication in emergencies has developed into a fixation. Scientists out there claim it is a real addiction. Drawn to them like moths to a flame, we feel a need to be on there all the time, checking if we have any tweets, messages, notifications or stories we may have missed. Yet, how many precious minutes do we waste quickly checking something on our cell phone only to end up sucked into the vortex of social media, scrolling mindlessly through page after page of posts, news, animal pictures, and Facebook conversations. Perhaps the lure of a quick game like Solitaire, Wordle, or Sudoku mesmerizes us, and one game becomes two or ten!
Recently, my days have been full of snapping at my husband because he didn’t put his tools away, my insides quivering like I had swallowed a double-A battery, and verbally abusing myself internally for not doing enough. Sound familiar? I couldn’t seem to get anything done. Often I feel like my son’s Maltese dog, barking at any little movement or sound and having to run and see what’s outside. But the Lord made me aware of how much time I was wasting in these scattered minutes and that I needed to redeem them.
Our Lord is a God of redemption, which means; to ransom, rescue, buy back, restore, and this is His plan for us, which He brought about through the blood shed by His Son Jesus Christ. He not only wants to restore our souls but our life here on earth, our days and minutes. He placed His Spirit within us the moment our faith was sparked to life to help us accomplish this. The Holy Spirit’s job is to teach and guide us and open our eyes and ears to the truth of God’s Word; our job is to listen.
And so, I decided to make different choices in my minutes. Instead of playing a quick game when I had a couple of spare minutes, I would clear out my emails, which continually seemed to pile up, discarding some and finally reading the life-giving ones. If I had five or ten minutes, I would read a part of my book, tidy a counter, dust a desk or offer up a prayer. I have started leaving my phone on a counter and not carrying it with me wherever I go in the house. When I hear it bing-bong, I check to see if it’s important or if it can wait.
God has given us an unknown number of minutes to live, and He desires us to be good stewards of them and live them wisely. Our purpose in life is to use them to glorify God. I don’t know about you, but this gives me pause. Am I honouring God with my minutes or myself?
Now, don’t get me wrong I am not saying we have to be rigidly legalistic about this. It is okay to spend some minutes when we have accomplished the things we need to and want to get done, relaxing and playing Wordle, checking social media or the news, but we can’t let it rule us. We have only one Ruler, and His name is Jesus.
And let me just say I am still working on this myself. It’s a struggle, and it’s real, but God honours our efforts to please Him because He is like that, a good Father.
So let us cheer each other on to try and redeem the minutes today and then one day at a time, and maybe we will gain an hour here and there. So the next time you see me on my phone, ask me if I am redeeming the minutes or wasting them.