Does God have a watch?
It seems like a valid question, especially in light of the fact that His Word has so much to say about time.
If God does have a watch, it doesn’t seem to work like ours do. Our clocks just tick away the hours, as if more time is always around the bend. But God’s Word teaches that our time is short.
Psalm 39:5 says, "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!"
Picture yourself blowing into your hand on a cold day. Blow again and that’s how long your life is.
James 4:14 says, "Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes."
Look out your window tomorrow morning. You might see a mist hovering just above your front lawn, but by the time your breakfast is down the hatch, the mist will be gone. And yet that’s how God’s Word describes your life.
Psalm 90:12 says, "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."
Our lives are like a breath to God or a mist that settles and then vanishes. That reality shouldn’t make us panic, but it should make us want to make the most of our time here on earth. The psalmist understood this truth and asked God to teach him how to number his days according to God’s clock. It reminds me of the old soap opera opener, "Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives." (Cue cheesy music.)
The truth is, time is tickin’. Our days are numbered. It’s easy to forget when each day we are handed twenty-four hours to fill, but God’s Word urges us to think hard about how we’re spending our time.
Ephesians 5:15–17 says, "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (emphasis added).
Did you know that God had an opinion on your time management? It’s true! He urges you (and me) to make the best use of our time.
I don’t know about you, but that passage makes me consider my screen time. When I think about how much time I waste staring at a screen, I get a little knot in my stomach. No, media isn’t evil, but it sure can be a time waster.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh put it this way in Lies Young Women Believe:
We want to urge you not to just "go with the flow" when it comes to your media usage. Be intentional about setting limits on what you’ll expose yourself to and how much time you’ll spend online, on your computer, or text messaging each day or week.
I think that’s a great idea! So I’d like to recruit you to join me in a little assignment. Since God’s Word says our time is short and urges us to make the best possible use of our time, I wonder if we could all limit our screen time for the next week. Apart from work (you could substitute homework), I’m only going to give myself seven hours of screen time from now until next Tuesday. That’s a whole hour a day; plenty of time to do what I need, but not much time to whittle minutes away mindlessly. Seven hours might not be your number, but I would like you to set a limit to your media usage for one week in an effort to make the best use of the time God has given you.
Leave us a comment below with your limit and what most often distracts you from making the best use of your time. Then be sure to hop back on the blog tomorrow for some questions to help you think through if your media choices are time well spent or time wasters.