Redeeming the Time

I sat down today thinking about what I would write about in this month’s journal and honestly speaking, nothing was prevalent on my mind. At least not until I watched a movie that a colleague had told me about. However by the end of the movie, I had come to a conclusion that I needed to write about redeeming the time in the context of our relationships, marriages, families and life in general.

It is often mentioned that we only need to visit the bedside of a dying person or a person who hasn’t got a long time left to live, to learn one of life’s precious lessons which is: that none of the things we’ve acquired will matter as much as wanting to be with our loved ones and neither will one’s financial or social status mean anything when someone reaches that point when they know they will soon be dying. All of a sudden, a dying person begins to reflect on their past and those relationships that truly matter to them and they start to ask if they’ve done the best that they could possibly have done and wondering if they still have the chance to make amends where they feel that they could have done better. The flashbacks of missed opportunities to love, care and to be a good spouse, parent, son, daughter or friend hit the replay button on the screen of such a person’s mind like a pendulum clock.

The trouble with this scary, yet inevitable stage in one’s life is that it is often too late at this time to make amends or make up for lost or misused time. Some people are fortunate to be given a second chance at life but these are the minority rather than the majority. Therefore I wonder how you or each of us are living our lives right now. Ephesians 5:15-17 admonishes us to see to it that we walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. We are advised not to be unwise, but to understand what the will of the Lord is. I have seen far too many people live life as though they will be around forever. They prefer to be at war perpetually with their spouses, children or friends without the recognition that time is of the essence and that no one ever gets remembered or celebrated for how many wars they fought unless they are part of a military group of a country. Rather than wanting to maintain peace and harmony and to seize the day, they carry on with life aimlessly.

I believe that it is time for every person to seek to understand what the will of God is for their lives, families, relationships, marriages and their future. While we all desire to live to a very long, ripe age, this may not be everyone’s reality and truth be told, the quality or significance of one’s life is not determined by how long they lived but how much impact their lives had on others and how much of a blessing they were. As such this makes me want to ask a pertinent question. Is your life a gift to God, yourself, your loved ones, family and society or people within your sphere of influence? And have you considered that you do not have eternity to leave your mark either good or bad on the sands of time?

Let us therefore not wait until we are dying, until the kids are leaving home for university or until that spouse is leaving the marriage before we take stock on the kind of contribution we are making towards our own future and our relationships. As long as we have breath, it is never too late to redeem the time, to ask for forgiveness, to show love and appreciation to those people in our lives. Some people are not directly doing anything wrong to others but they are not living their lives in a way that will bless others. They are insular and living for themselves alone. They do not realise that their lives are an answer to someone’s questions and if they fail to be who they were created to be, they would have deprived someone or some people of what is legitimately theirs.

My challenge to you this month is that as we begin the second half of 2014, make up your mind to redeem the time in every way possible, give love, give time, give sacrificially, spend time with your loved ones, laugh, forgive, overlook wrongs, pray and pray some more, go out of your way to visit someone you haven’t seen in a long time, make your life count and get your acts together. If you want to know how precious moments are, ask someone who has a few months or even weeks to live. For those who have lost a loved one, they can attest to the fact that they will give anything possible to keep their loved ones alive and that in those final moments, they wished they had more time to just say a bit more. I have always wondered why tributes are often long whenever I have had the opportunity to attend a funeral. I know its necessary as it helps others to know more about the person who has just passed on but I suspect that hidden beneath some of those grief laden speeches and writings are the regrets of missed opportunities to do more or to have said more to the person. Won’t it be nice that when we all get to our final destination, we would have said all we could have to our husbands/wives, children and to have shared all the best moments imaginable with them. This leaves a lasting legacy more than anything that money can buy.

In what ways do you need to redeem the time? This may be your time spent on earth. Are you mindful of eternity or are you just living your life the way it suits you? It may be that you have not been the kind of husband/wife or parent that you should be or that your loved ones can be proud of, instead of just saying it’s not your fault, why don’t you make the move to make things better. Life indeed is too short. Make it count. Redeem lost time whenever life offers you the opportunity to do so and let us live each day as if it’s the last.