By, Kimberly Coombes
Well, it’s here! 2022 has finally arrived. We have safely moved on to a brand new year.
Like bad company who moved in and just wouldn’t leave, most of us have never been so happy to wave goodbye to an old year.
But it happened, 2021 packed her bags and has departed. Now our hearts embrace words like: fresh start, clean slate, square one, outset, and new beginnings. January always breathes hope for the new, and exciting expectations for the future.
This is an amazing time to set somethings in order as we prepare for the weeks and months ahead.
At the beginning of a new year, Ephesians 5:16 beautifully reminds us, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
“Redeeming the time” (KJV,) or “Making the most of” (MEV,) or “Making every minute count” (CEV,) or “Making the best use of time” (ESV;) all of these translations challenge us to live with urgency, and to rescue time from loss.
Broadway hit musical Rent, famously sang, “525,600 minutes, how do you measure a year?” Each one of us who walks through 2021 together will receive those same 525,600 minutes. We won’t use them in all the same ways, but we get the same amount to spend.
It’s like taking an amazing trip to an all-inclusive vacation resort; we could just stay in our rooms ordering room service and enjoying the view from our balconies, or we could taste the local foods, take some excursions, and see some of the shows.
We have to learn how to make the best use of time, our time, our 525,600 minutes.
We need to recognize a shocking reality as summarized by Michael Ramsden, who teaches that, “Boredom isn’t just having nothing to do; boredom is being busy with something that doesn’t have any meaning, and that’s why we live in such a bored culture.”
We have to redeem the time. We need to see all of the little pieces that make up our days, weeks, months, and years.
Time spent driving, cooking, folding laundry, and straightening the house can also be time put to good use spiritually.
How can we avoid losing these precious moments?
1. Grow in Wisdom
A great gift we have been given through technology is the massive amount of podcasts, books, Bible studies, and sermons we have access to online. While many of us don’t have the time to prop up our feet and listen to an hour long message, we can easily fill our hearts with truth while going about our daily tasks. Pop in those earbuds, and grow deeper in your faith as you fulfill your long to-do list.
2. Minister to Others
Part of the time we redeem, needs to be time spent in service with and to others. Can you take time now, at the beginning of the year, to set aside some time, whether it be weekly or monthly, to pour unto others? It could be mommy play dates at the park, coffee time with a friend, or dinner around your table. Time can wisely be redeemed when we sit and laugh, listen, and serve someone else.
3. Sit at Jesus’ Feet
Ahhh, here it is, the time that is so difficult to redeem. Do we need to set the alarm clock 15 minutes earlier, or give God the first 30 minutes of the kid’s nap time, or put off family movie time by 20 minutes? If we gave God 15 minutes of our day we could redeem 5,475 minutes of our year, in the most profitable way possible.
“The truest lengthening of life is to live while we live, wasting no time but using every hour for the highest ends.” – Charles Spurgeon
As we strive to redeem all of these minutes that we have been given, let’s be careful how we categorize them.
Too often we separate our time into secular time and sacred time. This can set up a situation where it seems like one is always competing with the other; secular verses sacred, sacred verses secular.
If this “sacred” time only happens one hour every Sunday, then it can feel impossible to redeem anytime for Christ. But if the sacred is every moment, of everyday, then we have an entire life to live for Christ.
Redeem it, all of it. Redeem time at the sink, and time in the pew. Redeem time folding laundry, and time folding our hands in prayer. Redeem times of commotion, when the house is overflowing with busyness, and quite time with just you and Jesus.
It’s all His anyways, and He desires to share it with us.