I find myself once again thinking about time. On Sunday morning, when Robert Meyer sang "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me," he talked about the "treacherous shoals" of the song. Robert said that danger for ships comes when the water is not deep enough or is not free of obstructions. These obstructions, he said, don't have to be rocks or sandbars. They can even be schools of fish. It reminded me of the Bible study that I attend on Wednesday evenings. We are using Jennifer Rothschild's book about faith, and this past week we discussed obstacles in the path of life. One of those obstacles is priorities---specifically, wrong priorities that crowd out the really important things of life.
This is not to say that it's only bad or "wrong" things that get in the way of our serving God; often good things crowd out the best things. I know that God has given each of us different abilities and callings, but I sure don't want to miss my work for God because I was busy doing something else.
I have a little book that I picked up from the free bin at McKay's. It's about life in a monastery. While the monks have many strange views, they do offer some wisdom. This book suggests that "time, while precious, isn't scarce." We have sufficient time to do whatever it is that God wants us to do. Finding a way to let everything else go is the challenge.
Perhaps the best way to get perspective is to be quiet before God. When I begin my day with prayer and meditation on God's word, I have found that the rest of the day makes more sense. The psalmist heard God saying to him, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). When the people of Israel were frantic about their safely on the shores of the Red Sea, Moses stood before them and counseled, "Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD" (Exodus 14:13). Being still is the first step to having a productive day.
My prayer to God today is this: Help me live today in such a way that I will come to the end of the day without regrets. Annie Dillard, one of my favorite authors, takes the idea a step further. She observes, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." Time is both precious and plentiful. May we use it wisely.