This post is fourth in the Psalm 127 series "Live Like a King."
~ ~ ~
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows.
~ Psalm 127:2 (NKJV)
For some years now, I've considered myself a pauper of time. Lack of time for loved ones truly grieves me. Whether the checkbook has required me to pinch pennies or allowed me to indulge, I've often spent dollars and sense in my attempts at buying time.
Like many people, buying time includes saying 'no' to some things, employing as much efficiency and simplicity as possible, multi-tasking, hurrying (a sickness, I've learned), and forfeiting sleep. And even when I should have time left over, unexpected circumstances seem to steal it back.
The race is not to the swift …
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and circumstance happen to them all.
~ Ecclesiastes 9:11
"Buying time" with mere sense is as possible as buying dollars with cents. If traveling at a-mile-a-minute-plus and owning labor-saving devices gains hours, shouldn't industrialized nations be more relaxed and third-world countries more pressed for time? Though a person can have more money by either working harder to earn it or spending less to save it, can more time be obtained except by spending less?
There are twenty-four hours in the day to be had. Sleep is not optional.
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven …
[God] has made everything beautiful in its time.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)
Not one of us is truly a pauper of time. God gives each of us enough. We simply spend it on the wrong things and have too little left over for the right things.
What's really sad is that I know well the way to have enough time. It's the same method to have enough money.
Give all of it away. To God. He owns it anyway. It's only when we think of time or money as our own that we waste it in the wrong places. Remembering that we are His stewards helps us make the right decisions with both.
I happen to believe in tithing. God's always been given the first tenth, and the other nine have always proven to be enough. Back in the days when I consistently gave God the first two or three hours of the day (at least 2.4 out of 24 was my intent), the remaining ninety percent of my time felt far less scanty.
Along the way of "doing for God," my firstfruits of time spent simply being with God got compromised. Nothing's been as right since.
"Wealth consists not in the abundance of our possessions but in the fewness of our wants."
~ Unknown *
True for a pauper. True for a king.
True of material wealth. True of time.
Lord, I love You so much. Time spent with You has never, ever been wasted. It's saved me untold squandered hours. Please help me—help all of us—to spend more hours with You and be rich in time.
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* This is evidently a paraphrase of words by J. Brotherton:
"My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants."
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