By Maribeth Spangenberg
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph. 5:16
I looked up from the sink after placing the rinsed glass into the dish drainer while reaching for soiled silverware. As I gazed out the window in front of me, I took in the scene behind our house. Since our basement had needed to be set up high above the ground due to the water level, it had automatically raised the entire house, giving us a beautiful view of rolling farmland. The back of our home also faced the west, affording us the blessings of beautiful flaming sunsets.
On this particular day, the sun was shining brightly and I was suddenly filled with a heart of gratitude for the Lord’s blessings. For a few moments I allowed my mind to wander, thankfully basking in the beauty of all that I saw. I truly felt blessed to be able to enjoy this wonderful scene from the comfort of my window.
Suddenly, something caught my eye through the tree line. Since the leaves had fallen, the view was no longer obstructed and I was able to catch a glimpse of the new houses that had been built across the field. A sudden tinge of sorrow filled me, as I realized that things were changing. I hadn’t quite noticed it the season before as the foliage had obscured my vision. But now that autumn was in full swing, reality was evident. Progress was just around the corner and change was eminent.
How this scene reminded me of life! Too many times do we take things for granted only to realize that too soon, time brings change. Daily we get caught up in our routines and obligations, accomplishing our nine-to-five goals, quickly finding that it’s Friday again. Four Fridays pass and it’s another month. The holidays of a spring Easter, a summer Fourth of July, an autumn Thanksgiving and a winter Christmas complete another calendar year. Time marches on, one day at a time, until all of a sudden, we find ourselves saying, “What happened? It seems like only yesterday when…..” (you fill in the blank).
On a minute by minute basis, as we get caught up in a project, job, routine or obligation, it is difficult to realize the value of time. The Bible says to “redeem the time, because the days are evil.” As we view our lives in terms of “chunks” of time, this verse can be more easily grasped. Baby’s first birthday, our kindergartener’s first lost tooth, daughter’s first piano recital, junior’s driver’s test, children’s graduations – milestones signifying passages of time, markers to gauge our own aging process.
For the Christian, the aging process and years of change need not be an outlook of bleakness, regrets or remorse if we continue to keep our eyes on the spiritual. The longer we walk with the Lord, and the more we seek His Face, the greater the evidence will be of His blessings and Hand on our lives.
Just as I suddenly became aware of the new housing development beyond the tree line, so each one of us will be faced with the reality of our lives being as a vapor – “…For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). But rather than being a source of fright or panic, it should jolt us to attention, causing an awakening of renewed joy in the Lord, as we draw closer to Him in the realization of what a tremendous blessing life really is!
Seeing the progress beyond the tree line caused me to appreciate all the more what I now have, being careful not to take it for granted. Just as in life, we need to appreciate each moment, enjoying each blessing that the Lord brings our way, perceiving time as a precious commodity. As long as we keep our eyes on the “Son”, all else will grow dim in comparison.
Someday, if the farmer behind our house sells his acres of farmland, there possibly could be a housing development bordering our property. But for now, rather than worry about the future, I will enjoy the open spaces, rolling hills, and fields of grain – while I still have them. And even if progress reaches my back door, I will always have the view of the flaming “sunsets” above the roof tops.
PRAYER: “Thank you, Lord, for the many reminders not to take life for granted. Help me, I pray, to truly “redeem the time,” treasuring every blessing that You bring my way.”