“Be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15–16 NASB)
My undergraduate college had a tradition of assigning secret pals to encourage one another with gifts and messages. One year my creative secret pal covered the door to my room with Time Magazine covers and a sign that read, “Time is running out…” I enjoyed looking at my door decoration as the end of the semester with term paper deadlines and final exams approached. The door decoration reminded neighbors in my dormitory of all the work they had to do.
When I began to work at Clearwater Christian College, I worked in the Admissions Office during the spring semester. In late February, the Director of Admissions asked one of the secretaries what day it was. “February 24,” she answered. Immediately, the director said, “Oh no! We don’t have much time left…” Being new, I got nervous. I did not know what deadline we were facing or how much work it would entail. Then he said, “Ten months from now will be Christmas Eve.” What a relief!
These two humorous incidents remind me of the eternal perspective. We are given a limited time in our mortal life. How do we handle our time? We can procrastinate fulfilling obligations until the last minute or even until it is too late. Jesus taught about a productive rich man who built bigger barns to store his grain and goods. He said to himself, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come,” but God said to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is demanded of you: and as for all that you have prepared, who will own it now?” (Luke 12:18–20). The rich fool had the illusion of a long life without preparing himself spiritually. We can plan our lives wisely as the psalmist teaches us. Psalm 90 contrasts God’s eternity with the shortness of mortal life of seventy or eighty years (Psalm 90:10). The psalmist asked God, “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12). Jesus reminded us that we will not always be able to work and told us: “We must carry out the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).
How do we handle our time? Do we procrastinate? Do we panic because of an approaching deadline, or do we plan our time and prioritize the tasks at hand? Paul tells us to “be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15–16). We are to use our time wisely for the Lord’s work. As Christian librarians we use our time and resources the best ways to serve the members of our institutions, often dealing with limited staff and funds. We trust the Lord to guide us in our use of time.
Libby retired as a librarian from Clearwater Christian College in Clearwater, FL. She has been an ACL member since 1976.