WHOSE TIME?

Activated - - NEWS - ELSA SICHROVSKY IS A FREE­LANCE WRITER. SHE LIVES WITH HER FAM­ILY IN TAIWAN. ■ BY ELSA SICHROVSKY

NOT LONG AGO, I con­fided to a friend that I felt over­whelmed with stress and anx­i­ety over my work. She sug­gested that I spend more time med­i­tat­ing on God’s good­ness and study­ing His Word as an an­ti­dote. “But I don’t have time!” I protested.

“What do you mean, you don’t have time?” she queried with a twin­kle in her eye.

“I mean that I don’t have buck­ets of time on my hands!” I re­torted, annoyed and puz­zled.

“Oh, so you don’t own enough time? You may as well say that you own sun­light. But you’d never say that, be­cause you know that God made the sun. Why don’t you think of time as a gift or a loan from God, rather than view­ing it as some­thing that you own?”

“Well, no … it’s just that …” I was stumped. I’d never re­al­ized that I had been think­ing of time as some­thing that I “own.” But it was true. The idea of God lend­ing or giv­ing me time seemed ab­surd; rather, I was ac­cus­tomed to think­ing that I some­times gen­er­ously gave Him pre­cious por­tions of my time! The more I thought about it, the more I saw how deeply in­grained this idea was in my sub­con­scious. How of­ten had I said, “He (or she) wasted my time!”

The next day, my friend and I talked some more. We dis­cussed how hav­ing a pos­ses­sive at­ti­tude to­ward time had led to my fo­cus­ing solely on my own ideas, goals, and de­sires, ef­fec­tively push­ing God out of my de­ci­sions. With­out His help to stream­line my sched­ule and life­style, I was strug­gling to keep up with my work. No won­der I was stressed and felt that I didn’t “have” time for com­muning with my Cre­ator.

Over the next few days, I no­ticed that my flawed rea­son­ing about time had also been in­flu­enc­ing the way I viewed my fam­ily, job, pos­ses­sions, and many other ar­eas of daily life. The word “my” had soaked into ev­ery cor­ner of my heart. Rather than be­ing thank­ful for and gen­er­ous with all that I had been given, I was self­ishly grasp­ing all that I felt I was en­ti­tled to. When­ever God did not seem to be an­swer­ing my pray­ers and grant­ing my de­sires, I’d fume over why “my God” wasn’t do­ing what I wanted, when I wanted it—as if He were my “Er­rand Boy.”

It hasn’t been easy to re­wire my mind­set, and it’s far from fin­ished, but I am learn­ing to say with the psalmist, “Ev­ery­thing in heaven and earth is yours.”

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