Redeeming The Time

We are making the transition again from Daylight Saving Time to Eastern Standard Time and I hope you remember to “fall back” so that you don’t show up for Sunday School or church an hour early. You wouldn’t want to give the Pastor a heart attack. For one Sunday everyone will be on time. Just wait until next year when you have to “spring forward” a month earlier than you used to before the date changed, then, nearly everyone will be running late.

The recommended mnemonic devices for getting your clocks set correctly. “spring forward” and “fall back,” ought to be fairly easy to use, but I have heard people say, “Which is it?” Duh! On the other hand these seasonal reminders suggest some profound lessons about life that are, all too often, forgotten.

There is a law of physics called momentum. It states that objects in motion tend to keep moving while objects standing still tend to remain that way. When you remove your foot from the accelerator in your car it tends to keep moving. That is momentum and it is also why we have brakes. Life is like that. People who “spring forward” in their walk with God tend to keep moving forward. People who “fall back” tend to keep moving backward. That is why Paul tells us in I Corinthians 9 that in a race only one runner gets the prize, so we should run for the prize. It is also why he tells the Philippian Christians that, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, he presses on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of him, the prize. Hebrews 12:1 reminds us to run with perseverance the race marked out for us. There is no place in the Christian life for falling back because no place is to be left unguarded.

In pondering why people backslide or “fall back” the obvious conclusion is that they are not moving forward. There is a kind of spiritual momentum in life. But perhaps, if we delve deeper, we can identify a reason. The Psalmist prays to God that He would teach us to number our days aright that we might gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12) Perhaps we fail to appreciate the shortness and brevity of life and the fleeting nature of our opportunities. There is an old saying, There is only one life; it will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last. The Apostle Paul complements the words of the Psalmist by telling the Ephesian Christians, “Be very careful then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” The Authorized King James Version translated “making the most of every opportunity” as “redeeming the time.” Here I think we have the reason. We overestimate the amount of time we have and underestimate the evil in this present fallen world. This blindness has one primary cause. We are not listening to the Word of God and heeding God’s advice. Perhaps next year when it is time to “spring forward” you will turn up the alarm because it will be hard to get up and get moving. Let us turn up the alarm of God’s Word right now and wake up and run.