For leaders, the verse – “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” – can spur us to burn midnight oil and candles at both ends. After all, time’s a wastin’ and there’s important work to be done! The second hand of our watch can be like a whip-cracking slave driver who shouts, “Hurry up, work harder, faster, see how much you can cram into every moment!” But is that the heart of God?
One of our staffers, Lois, wrestled with “Mr. Time” when she considered working for us. She felt God leading her to accept the position – she loved the ministry, the people, and the responsibilities. But she didn’t relish the commute. Nearly an hour each way added up to too much time on the road. Lois shared her dilemma with her husband and son, and her son piped up, “Mom, that’s a no brainer. You love everything about that job. Buck up and drive!”
That was the nudge Lois needed, and she accepted the position. Friends ventured that the drive would give her ample time to pray, to unwind after the day’s work, to listen to music or talk radio. She’d thought of all that, but bottom line – she was stepping out in faith.
In the first several weeks, Lois tried this route and that – seeking the shortest commute possible. Mr. Time still had his grip on her.
And then it happened.
As she rounded the corner toward a hoped-for shortcut through the countryside, Lois spied a peacock perched atop a weathered shed on a farm property. “Oh my word,” she thought to herself, “I wish I had my camera.”
An avid photographer, Lois brought her camera along the next day. Sure enough, a photo-worthy scene appeared, she pulled over, got out of her car, and spent a few blissful moments snapping away.
And the next day, and two days later. And the following week. And ever since then.
Four months later, Lois has spent dozens of minutes capturing dozens of amazing photographs of everyday country scenes in Lancaster and Lebanon counties.
But more than that, God captured Lois’ heart in a fresh way and showed her how to redeem the commute time. Lois’ way of redeeming the time was to trim it down any way possible. God’s way was to wow her with the beauty all around her and rekindle her passion for photography. What Lois “lost” in time doesn’t compare to her “gain” in those inspiring, replenishing moments with God.
The Greek meaning of the word redeem is to “take full advantage of, to seize a buying opportunity, to make the most of the present opportunity.” Here are a few ways to redeem time in God’s way:
1. Search your heart. Does Mr. Time have a hold on you and your priorities?
2. Ask God to be Lord over your time in new, creative ways – or to restore a long-lost passion.
3. Look for opportunities to engage with God and others in ways you normally wouldn’t take time for.
4. Enjoy and savor the new avenues God is using to reveal Himself to you.
God gives us relationships, purpose, meaningful work, and enjoyable activities. When we allow Him, as Lord of Time, to order our days, the passage of time loses its grip on us.
“When the Lord of Time orders your days, the passage of time loses its grip on you.”- Lisa Hosler
How have you learned to follow God’s leading instead of the clock’s ticking? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.
P.S. Here are a few reflections from Lois:
I had often said, “There is no good way to get to Lebanon from where I live, I would never want to work there!” So it was a tough decision for me to accept this position. I also didn’t look forward to being up by 6 a.m. every day and losing two hours of my day commuting. Well, I have been blessed to discover that there are many side roads that take me there, with beautiful countryside views….Amish children playing, baby goats, sunrises in the winter, a rainbow with snow on the ground, mountain views, old barns, gorgeous flowers, horses and even Mt. Gretna lake which I go by some days… and oh yes, the peacock on the roof. There may not be a way that saves me a lot of time, but the time I spend is something I look forward to every day! I am even seeing things on the roads near my house that I never took the time to notice. I am blessed to see God’s beauty in nature and have this time to think and reflect along the way.