This past Sunday was arguably every American’s least favorite day of the year. The horror experienced by millions – waking up to discover that we were robbed of an entire hour of sleep! If that wasn’t bad enough, most of us are still spending our days trying to convince ourselves that 9 o’clock is the new 10 o’clock.
The strange biannual ritual of changing our clocks affects us on multiple levels and sparks many a debate. There are arguments for and against. There are those who love it and those who hate it. One study claims that this week will cost an estimated $480 million in lost productivity!
For me the whole concept of Daylight Savings Time is a strange fascination. The thought that the universal constant of time can be somehow manipulated by simply resetting our clocks is ridiculous, yet appealing. No matter what we do to our clocks time is not altered. We may fast forward today only to realize that at some point in the not too distant future we must rewind.
Time change Sunday, as we call it, always reminds me of Paul’s words to the Church in Ephesus. Ephesus was a prominent city in the first century located along the coast of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). Paul told the followers of Jesus there to…
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time…” – Ephesians 5:15-16
What did Paul mean? Can we “redeem time”? The word redeem simply means “to buy back.” When we redeem something, we pay a price or perform an action in order to recover something that rightfully belongs to us. Is Paul instructing us how to recover spent time? No. What has past is past, and no amount of wishing or manipulating a clock can return it.
I believe Paul was telling them and reminding us to make wise use of every opportunity we have for doing good. We should think of time as a purchase, as money we spend to make time our own. In other words, “redeeming the time” isn’t about buying back time that has been wasted, it’s about looking forward with plans to use our time wisely.
The past is the past. We can learn from it, but we cannot change it or buy it back. We can however, prepare ourselves to redeem the time that is before us. Let the past be your teacher and let the future be your treasure! God has a great purpose and future for you, all you have to do is redeem it!