Buying Back the Time

Where did all the time go?

I went to an Apple store yesterday and was looking at the iPhones. I have to admit, they’re pretty cool. You can store tons of stuff on them, go on the Internet, watch videos, and even make phone calls. And all of it is designed so that you have something to do . . . in between doing things.

That’s where all the time went. I realized a nasty habit I have. Every time – and I really do think every time – I sit down, I check my cell phone. Maybe someone called. Maybe someone texted. And after a few seconds of realizing no one bothered to do either, I think of who I can text or call. I’ve been programmed to feel like I just have to do something. I mean, I can’t just sit there. That would cause me to. . .think!

So to answer the question of, “don’t people think anymore?” – no! They don’t. We don’t. We’re on our cell phones, we’re reading something. Every time we’re on the Internet we have multiple windows or tabs opened. If we have to iron clothes or clean our houses we must have music on, or the TV, or something else. Well, that’s how I am, and I see it in others as well. It’s no wonder our meditations are so weak.

I think there are two ways to react to this problem: capitalize on it and make a profit, or exhort to get back to the Bible. The Bible says:

Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.


Twice, the Bible used the phrase, “redeeming the time.” The word for redeem there can mean, “to buy up at the market place.” Time is precious, and we are to make the most of every bit of it that we can.

We’ve heard people say something like, “with all these time-saving devices, there’s less time than there ever was!” And how true that is. Too many things are clogging our brains. We don’t have time to sit and think and reflect. And when we do, we fill it with YouTube on our cell phones. We’ve got to buy that time back.

How else can we expect to apply the following:

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Psalm 63:6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

Psalm 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

I Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

Those things seem impossible to him who can’t get away from his time consuming electronic device.

When I think of all that is missing due to my self-imposed lack of time, the other reaction to this problem seems almost sinful.

The One-Minute Bible? Are you kidding me?

Or how about Lesson Maker (which I actually am considering buying), which includes a “panic button” when you can’t even conjure up a minute to produce something worth teaching?

Maybe if we weren’t spending only one minute with God we wouldn’t need a panic button to expound His eternal truths!

My homiletics professor said, “dig a deep well and preach from the overflow.” How true! And this isn’t just for those in full time ministry. All of us who are saved are to proclaim God’s truth. And we need to dig deep wells as we meditate on Him so that all that truth just pours out of us!

I’m not writing this to provoke anyone to have quiet time guilt. As a matter of fact, I’m not totally sold on regulated devotions. I think if you’re a new believer, you should acquaint yourself with the Bible as a whole, and then maybe a reading schedule will come in handy. I also think that if you’re disciplined enough to handle a reading schedule, go for it! I’ll never reach to your height! But for us who are overwhelmed with so much stuff and so little time, I think we ought to take heed to the Bible’s command to redeem that time. Buy it back. Stop trying to fill every waking minute with something and just think about the Savior. Sometimes I read the same passage the whole week. It helps to be able to understand it and apply it. I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong by not moving on so I can check off the box for today’s reading. Whatever your style is, don’t cheapen your devotional life. 

And yes. . .sigh. . . blogging can sometimes be a distraction, too. So if you’ll excuse me, I have a Lord to spend some time with.


2 comments so far

  1. Philip on

    This is a continual struggle for me. In fact, today I set my alarm 20 minutes earlier in hopes that it would give me more time to just sit in front of an open Bible to read, think, and pray, and it did seem to be profitable.

    But during the day, there’s the constant lure of new blogs to read, new podcasts to download, new theology books to load onto my phone so that every last millisecond of free time is spent learning or being entertained or SOMETHING. It feels like an addiction.

  2. DT on

    I hear ya. And oftentimes we excuse it because it has to do with Christianity: sermons, theology, blogs, magazines, etc. And I do think there’s a point where it can rightfully be called an addiction. But it can be overcome.
    Take the time, if you haven’t, to read that link for “quiet time guilt”. He says some things that seem to be off at first, but think about what he’s saying, I think he hits the nail on the head. It has helped me a lot.

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