This week, with nothing at all on our to-do list and no plans whatsoever, God is talking to me about wasting time. My first (selfish) thought is that this is a bit unfair, but then realize how being busy can keep me from thinking about whether or not I’m using my time in the best possible way. What better time to get me thinking about my schedule than when I am not being governed by it!
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
Today’s devotional reading reminds me that “every day is a little life; and our whole life is but a day repeated” and how some of the sages in Scripture numbered their lives by days. It also says that those who dare lose a day are “dangerously prodigal” meaning that time-wasting is an indicator that I am slipping away from obedience to my Maker. The reading adds that misspending it indicates a self-centered desperation, a way of life characterized by assuming I know better than God what I should be doing.
David, who is called a man after God’s own heart, realized how easily a person can fiddle away their days. He wanted God to put right thoughts in his heart about his sense of time and of the shortness and priorities of life.
O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather! (Psalm 39:4–6)
But I’m on vacation! Then I think of Jesus, who may not have gone on vacation. The only clue is when He went to Jerusalem with His parents to attend the Feast of the Passover. On their way home, His family realized He was missing and went back to the city looking for Him.
Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:46–49, NKJV)
I’m not Jesus, but God give me that same sense that I must be doing what He wants me to do, all the time. Not only that, even though we are on vacation, God gives opportunities to attend to His business. Last night we talked to a man who works here, but is from another country. He was frustrated at the population here who “go to church both Saturday and Sunday” but their lives don’t match their “religious” activities. His perplexity was not anger or scorn, yet this was a barrier for him.
I wanted to answer his frustration, but all that came to mind was, “Standing in a garage does not make you a car.” God can use even a simple remark to give a person something to think about. While I’d rather have said something profound, maybe He will use that remark.
I’m convinced that any opportunity to speak or behave in a godly way cannot be ignored, even on vacation. We are not here long, and by here, I mean on this earth. I am in the last one-third of my life. Who knows, it could be the last week. While there seems to be ‘time to waste’ in the sense of what do I do with hours of no people contact and no marching orders from the Lord, even as I type this, I am hearing, “Always be prepared to _____________.” I feel a measure of excitement knowing that God will fill in the blanks.