If marriage has taught me one thing, it's that I clench my fist around the illusion of being the master of my own time and schedule. I didn't know this about myself until I married a man that loves spending time with me.
As an extrovert that spent a year having to learn how to be content being by myself, the transition from spending most of my post-grad free time alone to always being with someone was rather difficult. It wasn't difficult because my person was difficult, because I love my person. It was difficult because I learned that I value my "me time" at the expense of "us time". I hold my time with a tight fist, because I believe the lie that it belongs to me, when it actually belongs to another.
We've spent the past two weeks on a journey to seek the kingdom. What we've found is that the kingdom is actually more about the fact that God reigns than where He reigns. We looked at how everything belongs to God, how His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and how His rule should affect the way that we live our lives. If everything belongs to God, then even our time and our days belong to Him.
We see this in Scripture as David meditates on God's workmanship:
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
(Psalm 139: 13-16)
God made us and gave us days, therefore our days ultimately belong to Him. Not only that, but He has created us to do good works and to make the most of our days:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
While He is the owner of our time, we are the stewards. As stewards, we have been entrusted with our days and our time in order to do good works for the Lord. Stewards are called to manage what they have been given wisely:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
With all of this in mind, my "me time" is actually God's time. Yes, God does call me to rest and to take time to be with Him, but He ultimately calls me to be a steward of the time that He has given me to accomplish the things He wants accomplished. I am not the owner, merely the steward.
Learning this truth has been a hard road for a glory thief like me. I often want time to belong to me, but it belongs to my Maker. It has been given to me to steward wisely. What might this look life in my life and your life?
Living in light of God being the King of time changes the way that we spend the time that we have been given. If we're going to spend time, we should spend it how God wants it spent. Ultimately, God wants us to spend our time loving Him and loving others. What does this look like practically? Here are a few examples:
These are just a few examples of ways to view the time that we have been given as God's time and to steward it rightly.
In my own life, viewing God as the King of my time has led to repentance when I try to control my schedule and my day. If it doesn't belong to me, then I have no reason to get upset when my day is suddenly changed or when more time than expected is taken up by a project, task, or person. I'm more mindful of how I'm spending my time, and I'm looking for ways to eliminate distractions. I've started thinking through ways that I can love people better with my time or view my productivity as a way to love God and others.
At the same time, it is very freeing to know that my times are in God's hands, that my days belong to Him instead of me. I'm a poor steward, and I often need to be reminded of God's grace through Jesus Christ in times when I don't steward my time wisely or when I try to take control of time. Praise God that He is the King and ultimate sovereign of our time.
As citizens of God's kingdom, we need to view our time as belonging ultimately to the King. Our King has given us time to steward for the purposes of bringing glory to His kingdom. How might God be calling you today to submit to His lordship over your time?
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