The Gift Of Time

“Excuse me, sir, could you give me the time?” That phrase may be a distant memory to those of us older than the cell phone! Today it’s rare to ask that question because most of us who even care what time it is have a cell phone that prominently displays the date and the time on the home screen.

We keep track of time every day. We set a timer. Punch a time clock. Coordinate time zones and play times. Some days feel like they drag on forever and yet we get to the end of some weeks and think…where has the time gone??!! We rush by some things because we say ‘I don’t have time for that’. And things we have always wanted to do but never took the time to do we might excuse by saying ‘I just never had the time’.

One of the best illustrations of TIME that I ever saw involved a giant pickle jar, some rocks, pebbles and a bucket of sand. The instruction was given to label the large rocks as the most important things. The smaller stones and pebbles were things you’d like to do, hope to do and sometimes urgently must do. The sand represents all the other stuff that takes our time and attention from the most important things.

When you pour the sand in and then try to fit the pebbles on top….there will be very little room left, if any, for the large rocks to fit into the jar. But, if you BEGIN with your top priorities, the large rocks, and put them in the jar first…then you have plenty of room for them as well as the pebbles that represent your important things to accomplish. Finally, pour the sand in and surprisingly it just fills in around your top priorities and other important things to get done.

That jar can represent our day…and it can also represent our life! How are we prioritizing our time? Are we taking care of the most important things first?! Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) tells us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” God has given us the gift of Time. It is up to us how we use it.

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