I recently started reading Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. I haven't read that much yet, but so far it is an interesting read. One part though has stood out because it seems to apply to me: wasting time. Miller claims it's the devil's greatest way of derailing us from our purpose. I agree. I quickly lose focus on my purpose because I get distracted by little things that have no eternal value. I'm talking about checking email when I should be folding laundry (folding laundry is a service to my family) or watching tv instead of writing. Think about it - if my purpose is to write and glorify God with my writing and I'm watching television instead, is God glorified?
Paul warned the Ephesians about wasting time as well. In Ephesians 5:14b - 16, it says: "'Awake, o sleeper, and arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.' Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." (ESV)
I like the way Matthew Henry's Commentary explains it: "Our time is a talent given us by God for some good end, and it is misspent and lost when it is not employed according to his design." (Matthew Henry's Commentary; pg. 1856) That brings me more than a twinge of guilt for all of the time I have wasted. We must take advantage of the time the Lord has given us.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I got stuck in a routine that did not include my full purpose. After our move, I truly understood the meaning of "Awake o sleeper..." I felt as if I had been sleepwalking through life. That is not how the Lord wants us to live. He wants us to worship Him, fellowship with Him and others, walk with Him, with purpose and intent. He wants us awake to enjoy the grace He has bestowed upon us and to share it with others. He wants us to see the hurt others carry and do something to alleviate their burdens. He wants us to laugh and play with our children. He wants our hearts and our full attention.
The enemy wants to distract us from our true purpose. Let us be wise to his ways and be prepared for battle. Let us also be awake - no battles are won while sleeping.