Time to Kill
Anyone who knows me understands I am a stickler for being on time and how you use your time. I never have time to kill. A lot of it has to do with my personality, but much of it is driven by my passion. I am passionate about the gospel, the need for its centrality, and effectively mobilizing God’s people to live and proclaim it. I know that we can’t afford to waste time. However, there is a hard balance to strike when it comes to using your time wisely. On one hand, you only have one life to live and no clue how long it will be. On the other, busyness suggests a life filled with purpose but void of investment in people or the right things to accomplish what God has called you to.
When you consider eternity in comparison to the time you have on earth, it is sobering. None of us is guaranteed our next breath. Peradventure, we live the average age of 75; our life is a speck of sand in the grand universe of eternity. Yet, we are still commanded and commissioned in scripture to “redeem the time because the days are evil”.
For those who are overly compulsive about time – meaning, we do not take time to rest or for people – or for those who do not use their time wisely, harsh rebuke is needed. However, instead of harping either one, let’s consider the razors edge a faithful leader walks everyday when it comes to time. I want to challenge either side to a central view of time stewardship.
What questions should you ask to walk the edge? How do you discern what is motivating you? How do you prioritize your time?
1. Do you realize the urgency?
All leaders must live with urgency. Time is precious. Time is valuable. With each tick of your watch, time is lost and never regained. The next tick could be your last.
2. Do you see the necessity?
A leader know it is necessary to use time wisely. He does not throw it away like trash. He values it. More importantly, the gospel cry necessitates that he recognize what must be done. He will prioritize and claim the grace of God to accomplish what is before him.
3. Do you think you are indispensable?
No leader is indispensable. And, if he becomes so in the minds of those who follow, then that leader has failed to train faithful men who can teach others. For he to will run out of ticks. Then who will carry on?
4. Are projects more important than people?
We can always come up with another project. However, the leader knows that souls are the only thing that will echo from eternity. They alone bear the image of God. Never pass up an opportunity to invest in an image bearer. Never be to busy for people. People are never a waist.
5. Do you take time to rest?
A faithful leader’s greatest weakness is His ability to rest. He realizes the urgency and the necessity – translating it as a reason never to rest. It never works. Wash out is around the corner. He is not indispensable. When a leader fails to be filled up again, he eventually runs out of the ability to give.
6. Does need or Christ motivate you?
Do not misunderstand me. Need is all around us and should be very compelling. But, ‘need’ alone will render you ineffective. That’s just it: there is always a need and there is only one you. Let Christ ground you. He must direct the priorities of your life. Preach the gospel. And equip and empower others who will take up the banner cry of a need.
7. Are you a “Plodding visionary”?
A leader must have vision. Vision is what keeps him on course. It is his mainstay. When all around gives way, his vision will ground him. Dream big but do not pursue empty glory. Be a leader who is willing to plot through the mundane. Be the leader who sees the mundane as a tapestry that is being woven together for the glory of God.
Finally: No one has time to kill. If you do, I would be glad to take some off your hands. Every leader has 24 hours in a day and each one is given the responsibility to steward that time. You are faced with a choice: what will happen during the dash of your life? The dash on your gravestone marks the days between your birth and your death. That time is not yours to kill. It is God’s gift to steward.