Disclaimer: This won’t be a general message for everybody.
“Reclaiming my time.” This phrase became popular by Rep. Maxine Waters, or “Auntie Maxine” as many of us call her, as she tried to silence Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, as he, in short, wasted her time…literally. (View the video on…well, anywhere to see.) Because the phrase became so popular so fast, I was going to steer clear of using it as a blog topic out of fear that it would be a bit predictable and tad cliché. Almost a month after Auntie Maxine coined this phrase, I have something to say…a different perspective. Here goes!
Time is one of the only resources that can not be replenished. If you lose money, it is possible to attain more wealth. If you give love, there is no other option but for it to come back to you. But time…tuh! Once a moment is gone, it can never be recovered. It will never be Thursday, August 31, 2017 ever again. You may have another chance to repeat some of the happenings of today, but you will never get to relive today. Truthfully, I had mixed feelings when I considered this fact. Though there were some horrifically terrible days that I wish to NEVER relive let alone remember, this also means I must embrace that there was some time that was ultimately wasted. I can’t rewind the clock.
It is no secret, if you are an avid follower of According to Chris, that I have jumped over a few hurdles, lived through a few rough times, and had to accept a few failed plans. At 29, I am what I consider behind. I don’t have a family of my own yet, I never got the big degree, and blah, blah, blah. 😉 Beyond that, I have invested precious moments into things and people who yielded me no return in the end. I’ll be honest enough to admit that I blame myself for the 2 years here, 7 years there, and so on for my place seemingly at the back of the line. Between some of the unwise decisions I’ve made (even unbeknownst to me), the curve balls that life continuously threw at me, AND the time I spent living outside of God’s plan for my life (I can’t discount that and I’ll focus more on that), I have watched the long and short hands of the clock rotate swiftly. “If I could just rewind the hands of time,” a phrase that is no longer just exclaimed by the little old lady sitting on her front porch in her house dress. I’ve found myself saying those exact words more in the last few years more than ever, not just as a plea for more time but another opportunity to do things differently…correctly. The truth is more than the time wasted because “life happened,” I am most upset for the time that elapsed while making choices that were contrary to God’s will. There were times when I prayed, “Lord, if this isn’t what you want me to do, give me a sign,” and when He granted my request, I did what I wanted to do anyway. (Daggone disobedient child!) There were moments where I KNEW in my heart of hearts that I was in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing, surrounded by the wrong people. There were moments where I either blatantly disrespected God or didn’t do what He gave me the urge and ability to do because of doubt or fear. Well, all of those moments added up. My journey towards and introduction to Chapter 29 has made me swallow the hard pill that time has moved on, and I am yet accepting that I won’t get that time back. Even with my best efforts, I can’t be the source of restoration for my life. But there can be restoration…right?
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”
Joel 2:25 [King James Version]
I challenge you to read the book of Joel to better understand this story…I’m still studying it as well so correct me if I’m wrong…I don’t want to be a false witness. Amen? Amen. What I’ve gathered: the people of Israel wanted a king so durn badly, so they got one. After King Saul died, the kingdom split in two, and eventually both kingdoms, including Judah — the good ones, went buck wild. They started worshipping idols and sinning so God sent judgment to Judah. Side Note: Please know that God is a loving and compassionate God who has promised to bless His people if they obeyed but punish those who disobeyed. (Read Deuteronomy 28.) There were locusts that ate up their crops, a drought that dried up the water, and dry fires that burned up the grass…grass that the livestock would eat. God’s instruction through Joel was for the people to repent and He would restore… Insert the verse above.
As I said before, I must focus more on the time wasted “doing me” opposed to doing what God wanted me to do. Don’t be small in your thinking to limit “doing me” to the visible and common sins — drinking, smoking, or having sex. I am referring most to the years I wasted openly saying “yes” to God in church but giving Him excuses every time He gave me an instruction. I’m talking about the times He told me to go be a light to someone but instead I chose to focus on me, mine and what I wanted to do. Lastly, I’m referring to the moments that He ALLOWED me to be in the dark because I refused to embrace His light and the many ways of escape He freely provided. My sins and choices lead me directly into periods of unfruitfulness, unproductivitiy, and lack. After too much time spent calculating how behind I seemingly am (more wasted time, SMH), I have considered that I may be off [my] track because I wasn’t on God’s track. I may not have been worshipping idols, but I sure enough made my boyfriends, best friends, and possessions a god in my life. Dumb move.
Maybe you can find yourself in my story. Possibly while reading, you began to review the calendar and calculate just how much irredeemable time has passed you by. Maybe you, like me, devoted too much time sticking to your own schematics and abandoning the God’s blueprint for your life, and it led you into a mundane cycle of making it but not living abundantly or producing bountifully. BUT THERE IS HOPE! Though literal time may not be added back to the calendar, God will make the time up to you! Now before you get too geeked, we have a responsibility in the this matter…we must repent.
Repent – re·pent –/rəˈpent/ (verb):
1 : to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life
2: to change one’s mind
Once we turn/change our minds from doing things our own way to following the plans God has for us (which are good, by the way; read Jeremiah 29:1), He will redeem our time and restore what we have lost. So the ball is in your court… You can either remain as you are contrary to the best self that He wants you to be, or you can reclaim your time!
It’s a little broken, but I hope this helps.