Years ago, I had the privilege to travel to Africa. I fell in love with that nation and the people. The innate joy our African guides walked in was so contagious. I found myself learning much more from them, then they probably learned from me.
One statement our driver casually said to me has stuck with me till this day. Our team of Americans were rushing from one place to another, in an attempt to make the greatest impact on as many people as possible. We frantically looked at our watches, hoping to stay on schedule. In passing, our humble driver just shook his head and said, “You Americans…so many watches, never enough time.”
That simple statement really challenged me. It made me stop and wonder if in all our effort to do so much, had we devalued our experience and relationships. In our attempts to multiply our relationships, had we reduced the time necessary to make them meaningful?
For a long time now, I have believed that money is no longer the greatest commodity, time is. In America it takes a lot of work to protect our time, because so many things compete for it. I look at the great Bride of Christ (The Church) and see so many things shouting at her, “Look here! Buy this! Go here! Don’t go there! You need this! You don’t need that!” Enough is enough, already!
Let me remind you (and myself) of what Jesus said to the woman who was busy and worried about many things. Martha was so upset that her sister Mary wasn’t busy like her. Jesus said to Martha, “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Mary had chosen to stop and keep the main thing the main thing. She set aside all the distractions and lesser things to value the relationship that meant the most. And if you are reading this, I would gather you also have chosen the “good part.” You have chosen to make time to seek Jesus and listen. Well done!
Let me encourage you with the words of the Apostle Paul, who charged us all to redeem the time. That doesn’t mean spin a million plates, at 300 mph each. It means make the most of every minute you have. Pause and live in every moment with purpose and proper attention.
“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
Let’s pray: Jesus, teach me to redeem the time, and sow purpose and attention to each person that matters to You. I know you desire all to be saved, so let me not rush through moments, when I should have stopped and listened. In Jesus name, amen.
- Joe Mead