Thinking about that "seeming" phenomenon, plus a business phrase that we hear a lot, inspired me to offer up a little lesson today about "time." The phrase to which I refer is the one that people use when they're working and they say that they're "on the clock." I'm sure you've heard that said many times over. Let me see if I can tie this into a spiritual lesson that we can consider together for a few moments.
What do we know about "time?" Well, here's my thoughts regarding this question. First off, we know where it came from and where it's going. As to it's origin, we can turn to Gen. 1:5 and read that after God separated the light from the darkness, the "evening and the morning were the first day." That's where it all began "time wise," so to speak.
Before we leave this thought area, let me remind you that "time" only relates to man and the other things of this earth. This is the only location applicable to "time." If you think about it, this is where the line from the old western movie fits. That it's while we're on earth that "we travel between the eternities." "Time" did not exist before the earth was created and will not exist after the earth is destroyed.
And that answers the question of where "time" is going. Actually, there are two answers as to where it's going seen in the individual sense and the collective sense. Individually, "time" will cease upon our death. Collectively, "time" will cease at the coming of the "day of the Lord," an event graphically described in 2 Pet. 3:10. In either case, we return to "eternity" or to a "timeless" estate.
Secondly, we know how to measure "time." Without going on about the Sun and the earth's orbit (etcetera, etcetera, etcetera) let me just say that we can divide the 24 hour period created by God (Gen. 1:5) into hours, minutes, seconds and even further divisions. We can then transpose these hours the other direction and establish weeks, months, years and so on. In other words, we can print calendars and day planners wherein we can write down our future appointments should we be so blessed as to live to see them.
Here's a little "side thought" for you to consider: if "eternity" existed before "time," and "eternity" will exist after "time," and "time"can be measured to the exact nanosecond, it would almost seem like there's a design to this place called earth, doesn't it? (Facetiously spoken of course) So, if there's a design, then there must be a designer, wouldn't you say? Sorta flies in the face of all this earth and us being here by some accidental, cataclysmic event, doesn't it?
Another "side thought" (I'm full of them): because "time" only applies to man and not to God, this helps us understand how the Prophet Malachi could say that God is "unchanging." (Mal. 3:6) And also how the writer of Hebrews could say "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever." (Heb. 13:8)
That "side thought" leads me into some more thoughts regarding the measuring of "time." Besides clocks, sundials, hourglasses and calendars, we can measure "time" in another way. We do this by noting a change in things, with those "things" being everything and everyone on earth.
It works this way - when things change, "time" passes. Like when I look in the mirror and see that I get better looking every day, I can tell that "time" has passed. Or, I can tell that my vision has greatly deteriorated. Either way, I can tell that a change has occurred and that there's been a passing of "time."
Yep, everything changes as "time" goes by. Solomon, in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes said that "everything has a season" and that there is a "time for every purpose under heaven." Note again, that "time" is only "under heaven" meaning that it's only here on earth.
Everything and everyone has "a season." We have a period of "time" in which to operate, so to speak, with that period being our life span, whatever amount of "time" that may be. To reiterate, it's that period, that "season," that we're "on the clock." And, it's while we're "on the clock" that we have the opportunity to prepare to return to "eternity."
Here's the point and culmination of my thoughts today on this period in which we're travelers between eternities. This "time" that we live on this earth. And, furthermore, I believe that we should consider, very seriously I might add, the fact that this is our only "season." The only period in which we're "on the clock."
In other work parlance, we couldn't come in early, nor can we stay late. IE: there's no "overtime" allowed by management. Therefore, all of our preparation for the "eternity" to come, the one we're facing, has to be done now while we're "on the clock."
If I may appropriate another much-used term these days, there's not going to be any "do-overs" even though many people think that there will be. Hebrews 9:27 effectively eliminates the misguided idea of "do-overs" if we didn't get it right this time. Knowing this, wouldn't you say that it behooves us to make wise use of the "time" we're allotted?
The apostle Paul warns us in Eph. 5:15-16 that we should "walk" (live or operate) "circumspectly" (being considerate of or judicious), "wisely" making use of the "time" because everyone of us is "on the clock." And the thing is, we don't know when the quitting bell will ring.
Thus, I would close by saying that the "wisest" use of our "time" whilst "on the clock" is, in a nutshell, to know what pleases God and DO IT. Why? Because this is what determines where exactly our souls will spend the coming "eternity" and it will be a place where there are no clocks and the quitting bell never rings.