I’m musing today about the value of brief moments — taking time for the things that perhaps make the greatest difference in our lives and in the lives of others. Too often, I miss them, scurry past them, minimize their significance, or ignore the prompting in my spirit to slow up, listen and respond.
Rarely does God allow us grand chunks of time to move from where we are to where we need to go, to progress from who we are to who we are becoming. It’s those brief moments, those seemingly insignificant choices, that determine the outcomes, not just of our day, but of our lives.
Moments with God; with others; moments to rest; to work; moments to uproot; to build; moments; miniscule segments, fleeting swiftly away.
Solomon capsulized it in Ecclesiastes,
“There is a time for everything and a season
for every activity under the heavens.”
Often, shifting times and changing seasons floating in and out of lives imperceptively. Other times, we know, we sense the significance.
Time is the most precious of commodities. If I lose my health, I know a God who restores. If I lose wealth, I trust God who returns. If relationships break and tear, God reunites. Time remains the only asset never regained. How will I use it? What will I do with the gift of today — of this moment?
“Serve God by doing common actions in a heavenly spirit, and then, if your daily calling only leaves you cracks and crevices of time, fill them up with holy service.” – Charles Spurgeon
I don’t know about you, but it feels like I’m entrusted with minute cracks and tiny crevices of time — brief moments to function and thrive. Yet, we are all given twenty-four hours in a day, seven days a week. Those days, weeks and years that contain brief moments that matter.
Paul encouraged both the Ephesians and Colossians to
“Behave wisely . . . making the best of your time,”
“Be very careful, then how you live . . .
making the most of every opportunity.”
Okay! I know I should make brief moments count, but how?
Awhile ago, I read a book by Les Parrott, called 3 Seconds. He wrote an entire book on the difference taking a few seconds to reshape our thinking can make. Brief moments to rethink have the potential to change destiny.
- “There’s nothing I can do!” can become, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
- “It’s too difficult!” trusts, “All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)
- “Whatever happens, happens!” changes to, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare, not for evil, to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
How many harsh words would remain unspoken, if we would only take a few seconds to rethink a response? Or needs met, if only we would slow our pace to help another?
When we look for those brief moments, God will use them to bring a change in surprising ways. The only moment God has given us is this moment — right here, right now.
A farmer knows the time to seed is brief. So is harvest! How important to use wisely whatever time we’re given.
The Panoramic View
If we spent all our time focusing on the milliseconds, we would miss seeing the panoramic view — the God view — eternal perspective.
“Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
I read once that wisdom teaches us to live each moment like it’s our last, but plan for the future like we will live forever. Sound advice! Living in such a way that every moment, even the smallest moment, holds value and is deeply appreciated. Yet, at the same time, plan and live like eternity stretches endlessly before us.
Going back to Ecclesiastes, I read,
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart;
yet no one can fathom what God has done
from beginning to end.”
Here stands the challenge. How do I make brief moments count for eternity? How do I seize minute opportunities for optimum good? Is there a way to live holding both a microscopic view and a macro-image of time?
There lives within me a constant tension between where I’ve come from and where I’m heading — between the decades past and the ever-shortening time ahead. Tension unresolved, tugging between hope and frustration.
Solomon struggled; we all do. Nearing the end of his allotted time on earth, he surmised,
“Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.”
Fix your eyes ever on God; He will lead us to honor wisely the time He’s given us. Those brief moments of setting our eyes first on Him, reap eternal rewards. Those brief moments of blessing and meeting the needs of others, pay unending dividends in His Kingdom.
Choosing to love well the one in front of us and to serve God with whatever gift or ability He has blessed us with, then trusting Him with the results.
Those are the brief moments that count!