“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4)
Most people who are conscious of drug and food safety, look at the body of a product to ascertain its expiry date. This is because these drugs and foods are better consumed and are not poisonous to the body when they are not expired. On most products, the expiry date is written beside the ‘BB’ and ‘EXP’ acronyms as the case may be. The full meaning of ‘BB’ is ‘best before’ and ‘EXP’ is the abbreviation for ‘expires’. This means that consumers must use the product on or before the date indicated.
The same way these products are best before a given time, there are times and seasons we must discover, acquire and use our talents, gifts and skills to accomplish certain things in life. Jesus Christ stressed this point in John 9:4 that every individual should be conscious of the night-time and engage in productive work while it is daytime. The Bible teaches us that there is a season to every thing and there is a time for every purpose under the heaven (see Ecclesiastes 3:1). In his book, “The Morning, Afternoon, Evening and Night of a Man”, Reverend Godwin Otu reiterates the need for us to number our days. He explains that from childhood to adulthood, we must use our time wisely.
Furthermore, in one of his teachings, “The Laws of Seasons”, Apostle Joshua Selman explained that the life of every individual is divided into seasons of a 25-year cycle. The first 25 years (morning) being a season of learning – a season of relentless investment and commitment to achieve spiritual, social and economic growth and development. The season of 26 – 50 years (afternoon) being a time for execution – engaging in productive work to positively affect the society; 51 – 75 years (evening) season – being a time to build legacy, institutions and get people to run with one’s values. Then the night season (76 – 100 years) – being a time to rest after finishing one’s assignment.
By human calculations, the United Nations has estimated the life expectancy for each country based on health, employment, income, economic and education factors with Hong Kong having the highest life expectancy of 85 years and Central African Republic having the least life expectancy of 54 years. However, God has promised that mankind will live up to 120 years (see Genesis 6:3). So, life is a gift from God that is time bound and divided into phases. Time is a measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues (Merriam Webster Dictionary). It is important that we understand and know what to do during each phase or cycle of our lives – avoiding time wasters and being intentional about what we want to achieve (see 1 Chronicles 12:32a).
Having noted that life and time are gifts from God, it is important that we do not waste any second, minute, hour, week, month or year. There are time wasters we need to avoid because they affect our spiritual and socio-economic growth and development. These time wasters include distractions, procrastination and busywork. Look out for any distraction to your prayer time, Bible study time, business and so on. This could be a ‘friend’, social media addiction or excessive watching of TV. Distractions when overlooked, can affect your focus, productivity and destiny.
Procrastination, they say, “is the thief of time.” I will add that procrastination is also the thief of destiny. Do not put off what can be achieved today. A lot of sermons, books, songs, products, services, and inventions are in the graveyard because those people died without putting their potentials, skills, gifts and talents to work.
Jesus showed that He was a businessman who came to do the business of His Father (see John 9:4). At the age of 12, he started giving attention to learning. At 30 years, He was very intentional about His ministry on earth. In less than four years, Jesus accomplished His task and went back to give His report to the Father. He was indeed a businessman and not a ‘busyness’ man. At any endeavor, you can be busy without being productive. This is time wasting.
It is important to rest and sleep, however the Bible teaches us that a little sleep can make one to live in lack and poverty (see Proverbs 24:33-34). A simple analysis shows that when you sleep for eight hours daily for the first 30 years of your life, you would have slept for 10 years. Listen to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”
Be Intentional About Your Life
It is important to be intentional about what you want to achieve in life. Set realistic goals (daily, weekly, annual and strategic) concerning your spiritual life, education, business or career. Live each day working to achieve your set goals. Create time to reflect on your achievements and ask God to guide you on the next steps to take.
If you have lost time in life, do not be discouraged. Put more efforts to be in that position you long for in any area of life. God has promised to restore the years you have lost (see Joel 2:25). Go to God and ask Him to restore the lost time as well as grant you speed, wisdom and strength. Remember, there is the best time to achieve certain things in life. If you want God to restore your lost time, you need to have a relationship with Him. To start a relationship with God, say this prayer of salvation: Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart. I accept You as my personal Lord and Savior. I believe that you died and rose again to save me. I declare that I am born again. I receive the gifts of forgiveness and righteousness. Thank You for accepting and glorifying me. Amen!