Monday, October 20, 2008

Walk circumspectly

A newspaper ad showed three people waiting for a city bus. Two of them were bored and listless, while the third was happily playing a game on a small electronic device. “Do something with your nothing,” the ad said. “That nothing time. The time in between everything else you have to do.” The idea was to sell the portable player so people could use all those segments of wasted “waiting” time.

I suspect that many of us already constructively use those small increments of waiting time to read a book, memorize a verse, or pray for a friend. It’s our longer waiting periods filled with uncertainty and indecision that may leave us anxious and frustrated.

Paul challenged the Christians in Ephesus to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16). The Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest suggests that this refers to time in its “strategic, opportune seasons” and means “making a wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good.”

During those seasons when we wonder, “How did I get here and when can I leave?” it’s best to look for our God-given opportunities instead of focusing on the obstacles. That’s the way to do something with our nothing. 

Wait and, in waiting, listen for His leading;
Be strong, thy strength for every day is stored.
Go forth in faith, and let thine heart take courage;
There is no disappointment with the Lord. —Anon.

When you find time on your hands, put them together in prayer.

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