Monday, July 16, 2012

Redeem the time...

Ephesians 5:15-17
"See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
There are several things that stand out in this passage to me:

  1. walk circumspectly- be "heedful of circumstances and potential consequences" to quote the definition of the word.  Think about what you are doing and the potential outcomes of your actions.  Simply put by 18th century English poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744) "Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread".
  2. redeem the time [for the days are evil]-redeeming the time. Making the most of the time we have available.  Avoid idle time, for there is work to be done.  Get busy.  All of us have things that can easily turn a momentary distraction into a  long meandering bunny trail where we lose hours of our day.  Mine (primarily since I can get distracted easily) is television.  The mind numbing brain drain, especially watching science fiction or "true" science shows. I can lose a day if there is a marathon of a show I enjoy.  I need to redeem my time, for I have work to do.  The days will let me tangent, the days don't care what I accomplish.  The days just pass no matter what.  It is up to me to stay on track and do that which I need to do.
  3. but understand the will of the Lord-to me, the scariest 5 words in the Bible "the will of the Lord." I have struggled with this concept as it relates directly to my life for a very long time.  What am I supposed to be doing? What is the purpose of my life? Am I on track, on a siding, or completely derailed? Then looking at Romans 12:2 [truncated a bit here] "...that good and acceptable and perfect will of God," I wonder if there are three levels of the will of God? Is there something I could be doing which gets a "that will do" response like skimming in just under the wire? Is there a "that's a bit better" course I could take? I want the perfect will course, to hear "well done My good and faithful servant." I want the smile and nod acknowledging I was right where He needed me when He needed me, that I followed His commands and accomplished the plans He had laid out for me.  I want to KNOW what course that is...!
I struggle for one reason: I get overwhelmed.  The year was 1987, I had just graduated from high school.  I was visiting my father in Texas between high school and heading to college.  I was attending a Christian youth summer camp.  During an evening service, the speaker Joe Strickland (can't forget the name for some reason) was preaching.  He stopped and looked at me and prophesied over me "you will do great and wonderful things for God."  Bit much to lay on an 18 year old baby Christian with little understanding of anything yet.

Kind of a big thing to have hanging over me these 25 years, especially with no feeling of direction as to what that may be or how to go about figuring it out.  

All I DO know is that I need to stay in the Word, live what I read, and not try to be an island unto myself.  I must allow others into my "world."  I need friends and family in my life.  As God said in Genesis 2:18, "It is not good that man should be alone."  Time to believe that!

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