The Trouble With Time

“Man that is born of a woman has but few days, and they are full of trouble” (Job 14:1-2). Now that is an issue, is it not? Not only are our days filled with suffering, but they are few in number. It becomes very tempting, then, to let such a precious commodity slip away in the fruitlessness of worry, stress, regret, guilt, frivolity, and bitterness.

I have trouble learning my frailty and the measure of my days

“I know it and yet I don’t know it,” was the way one person described his mortality. To be sure, we are all, at least, academically aware that our days are finite, but rarely to such a degree that we live in light of this fact. The attitude, especially with young people, is that age and frailty will affect other people more than it does me. We see others aging around us, getting sick, dying, succumbing to a wasted life, but feel the sense of relative immorality that always accompany youth. Yet it is my daily problem to come to grips with my frailty, as Solomon so adroitly encourages his readers in Ecclesiastes 7:1-4.

“Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am” (Psalm 39:4). Other translations have the psalmist asking, “Let me know how frail I am.”

I have trouble redeeming the time

“Redeem the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). Redeem means to buy back. We have already wasted too much time, therefore we need to buy back as much as we can. We spent years in sin and vanity before we were baptized, and now we must work twice as hard now that we are in Christ to make up for lost years. Besides, idleness is not for the Christian. In Matthew 20:6, the householder in the parable asks the unemployed, “Why do you stand here all day idle?”  We may be quick to excuse the sin of idleness, claiming that it makes little difference, and that it cannot possibly be as serious as other sins. Interestingly enough, though, idleness is a “gateway sin”, so to speak. It facilitates many other character flaws, bad habits, and unrighteous actions. “And at the same time they learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention” (1 Timothy 5:13.

I have trouble facing the temptation to procrastinate

The great words of the Bible are “now” and “today”. “Now is the accepted time” (2 Corinthians 6:2). “Today if you will hear His voice” (Hebrews 3:7-8). Solomon adds, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). Jesus called one man a fool for planning big things tomorrow at the expense of neglecting his soul today (Luke 12:16-21).