Do you ever wonder where your time has gone? Maybe your loved ones are growing older more quickly than you anticipated, and you wonder how to make the most of every moment with them. It could be that you have pressing deadlines and are unsure how to fulfill all your duties. Or perhaps you’ve not achieved all you wished to accomplish by this point in your life. Whatever the case, you recognize the reality of Psalm 144:4: “Man is like a mere breath, his days arelike a passing shadow.”A friend of mine took this biblical truth to heart when she was diagnosed with cancer. Understanding how precious time is, she told me, “Each morning since the doctor gave me the news, I wake—and the first thing I do is thank God for another day.” Everything changed for my friend the moment she realized how valuable each minute is.
We are wise to do the same—recognizing our time as a gift from the Father and making the most of the days we’re given. Whether it’s showing those we love that we care, meeting tough deadlines, or pursuing goals the Lord has called us to achieve, we must be sure we’re investing our time prudently and not wasting it.
But how do we do so? How can we safeguard our time, making sure we;re not squandering it? I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the most important thing we can do to ensure that our lives are productive is to listen to God by reading His Word. The Lord is absolutely wise and omniscient, and He always knows the best path for our lives.
This is why I read the following portion of Psalm 119 almost everyday. It reminds me that I belong to the Father, I need Him, and He is the One who guides my footsteps. It says, “I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies. It is time for the Lord to act…I love Your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold. Therefore, I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything…Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion me” (Psalm 119: 125-128, 133).
Why is talking to the Father such a powerful way to guard our time and guarantee it is used effectively? Prayer is life’s greatest time-saver and always our most productive course of action. When emergencies arise, we can receive clear, timely direction from the Lord through prayer, which eliminates confusion. As we converse with the Father, He can keep us from making wrong decisions that would have negative, long-range repercussions or would cause costly delays. Prayer invites the Lord into our daily activities, allowing him to make us productive. Listening to God gives us confidence and can make our decisions more enjoyable because we’re doing what He’s called us to do. Time with the Savior sharpens our discernment, helping us avoid wasted opportunities. Our communion with the Father gives us energy, enabling us to accomplish the great things He has called us to do. Focusing on the Lord prevents us from being distracted by the wrong things. Abiding in God’s presence prevents us from becoming discouraged because He always fills us with hope. Remaining constant in our communication with the Father reveals open doors of opportunity that we would not have seen otherwise. Committing our ways to the Lord through prayer helps us discern the difference between busyness and true faithfulness.
Psalm 90: 12 instructs, “Teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” God is the One who shows you both the importance of your time and how to be most effective in investing in it. If you are wrestling with the reality of the days that have passed because of an aging loved one, an overloaded schedule, or unmet objectives, remember that the most effective thing you can do is listen to God by reading His Word. He can show you how to redeem the time (Ephesians 5: 5-16), making all your moments as fruitful and meaningful as possible.
Our lives are made of time, and the best way to invest them is to cultivate our intimate relationship with the Father. May God bless you by making the most of your time as you seek His face.