redeem the time

You too can be a Time Traveler

One of the movie genres I enjoy are films about time travel. The idea of being able to escape the bounds of time has always fascinated me. Ah to be done with attempts at merely managing time. Give me a time machine and I will be the master of time by rewinding it or fast forwarding it at will! No doubt you too have dreamt of being free from the constraints and pressures of time and being able to alter or redeem time.

Time as we all know marches on relentlessly and waits for no man. Someone bemoaning the facts that time flies and it is just a matter of time before time runs out, penned a timely observation. “Time is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end the faster it goes.”

The irony of most time travel movies is that the plight of the time traveler is no different than those of us without a time machine. In classic time travel cinema like Back to the Future and its sequels, the time traveler, Marty McFly, finds himself repeatedly caught in a predicament with time running out. You know the drill: as he races against time, it’s just a matter of time before he’ll be out of time, unless he is saved in the nick of time. Where is the time machine when a guy really needs it?

Time is an enigma. It is both a friend and a foe; a blessing and a curse. Time is our most precious possession and yet we seldom treat it that way. What we do with it will determine our destiny and yet we seldom think about it that way. We can redeem time or waste time, buy time or spend time, keep time or do time, bide time or two time, save time or kill time, stretch time or squeeze time, make time or mark time, borrow time or take time.

The passage of time affects everyone differently. Time is slower for the class than for the teacher, and slower for the congregation than the preacher. Time goes faster for those on vacation than for those at work, but slower for the customer than the clerk. It’s also faster for those taking a test than the proctor, but slower for the patient than the doctor.

There is a big difference between telling time and knowing the time. When we tell time, we are simply reciting the position of the hands on the clock. That is chronological or from the Greek, chronos time. But when we know the time, we are recognizing the significance of the time to which the hands point. That is kairos (Gk) time. Kairos time might best be described as a purposeful time in our lives, filtered through God’s loving hands, in which He promises to empower us.

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Redeeming time while on the go!

“Redeem the time for the days are evil” Ephesians 5:16

Time is an enigma. It goes too quickly for those who are enjoying it, but too slowly for those who are suffering. It is good when you make the most of it but evil when you waste it. And mysteriously some people consistently have a way of wringing more out of a 24 hour day than others. How can that be?

Worst of all, no matter what you do, time relentlessly marches on. It is said that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer your get to the end, the faster it goes. Anyone with graying hair can confirm that fact.

Thus throughout most of my life I have been a student of time management. I am always looking for ways to redeem my time. One of my inspirations has been John Wesley, the great preacher and founder of Methodism in the 1700s. Like so many accomplished men and women in history, he was also a time management expert. As an inveterate preacher of the gospel it is documented that he traveled 250,000 miles on horseback during his lifetime. We also know that he made the most of that travel time by reading voluminously and writing sermons and books all while in the saddle. But if that were not enough, he also made it a habit of reading while he walked.

I just learned this week that my friend and fellow pastor at Bridgewood Community Church, Mark Spencer also reads while he walks. In fact he reported that he can read more efficiently and retain more while walking than sitting. And I thought I was a time management freak. I am going to have to try that.

It is illustrative that everybody has their own unique time management tricks that enable them to be more effective and accomplish more. That is why it is always interesting to hear how accomplished people make the most of a typical day. Invariably you will always pick up some great tips for redeeming time in your day as well. What are some secrets you have discovered?

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