As a busy Singaporean, I am always wishing there was more time to do the 1,001 things on my to-do list; and the other 1,001 that I didn’t quite have the time to put down on that list.
One day, I cried out to the Lord, “I need more time!” Quite immediately, the words of Eph 5:16 popped into my mind: “… redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Upon deeper study, I realised that the word ‘time’ was not chronos but kairos. We are not asked to redeem the chronos but the kairos!
Chronos, from which we get the word ‘chronology’, refers to a passage or quantity of time. Each of us has 24 hours each day. Whether young or old, man or woman, tall or short, 24 hours is all we get. It is no point asking for more time if we are first not disciplined to use that amount of time. In other words, if I had 25 hours a day, I’d still need more time. If I had 8 days a week, 13 months in a year, it would still not be enough.
What Eph 5:16 is talking about is kairos, a God-appointed time or a God-given opportunity. In our activity-packed life (and ministry), it is so, so easy to miss these times that God presents to us. Perhaps, a chance to share an encouraging word, an opportunity to be a blessing, a special moment to cherish, a dream to realise, a life to impact, a child to hug, a heart to warm up, a tear to wipe. These are God-given opportunities, God-ordained moments to share His love and goodness, that so many miss simply because most are probably too caught up with our own needs and wants.
No wonder Paul exhorts us to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise” Eph 5:15. It is those who are wise in the ways and things of God that learn how to discern and recognise the kairos. The reverse is of course true, that those who are wise in the ways of the world are considered fools. A harsh descriptor, you say. But consider those who chase after the trappings of the world, trying to keep up with others, getting caught in the rat race, stressed by the education and academic systems, toiling endlessly … all these miss God-sanctioned moments of love, joy, peace and rest. Rather foolish, don’t you think?
Paul reminds again in Eph 5:17, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Simply put, get aligned with what God is doing. Notice that we are not to ask what is God’s will for me but to adjust ourselves to God’s will and purpose. The problem is that we are all too caught up with what we want, how we want to do it, and when we want to get there. I need to realise something here: there is just not enough time in the world to cater to the selfish person in me, nor is there enough time for the procrastinator that I am! I need to stop trying to force God into my agenda but begin to align myself with His! If not, I will miss every opportunity He puts in my path and waste every moment to live right for Him. To be sure, I don’t need more time; I need more wisdom!
How are you living your life? Are you crying out for more time too? Perhaps, it’s time to relook and reassess your priorities to see if you have been walking as one who is wise or one who is foolish. Ask yourself: Did you begin this day saying, “Lord, I will live this day for You and with You!”? Or did you end your day lamenting, “Lord, I need more time!”?
Determine not to miss another kairos but to make every moment count for His name and glory! Get realigned with God, be wise and make a decision to exchange (redeem) that you consider important for something else that is of far greater significance … God-given opportunities that really and truly matter.
Redeem the time, for the days are evil.