Making the Most of the TIme

Making the Most of the TIme

Thursday, 9 June 2016  | Narelle - MECS Principal
 “Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time...” (Ephesians 5:15, NRSV)

 “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Colossians 4:5, NIV)

 “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” (Galatians 6:10, The Message)

It’s been a really busy time at school. There have been camps, excursions and special events; visits from politicians, visits from our friends and colleagues at Yuendumu; work to complete, reports to write, exams to sit. Lots of meetings, conversations and even planning for next year. Generally schools are busy places, but some weeks seem busier than others!

Biblical scholars make the distinction between two sorts of ‘time’ referred to in the Bible. One is ‘chronos’ (i.e. chronology, chronicle.) It is measured in minutes, hours, days and weeks. It is a point in time and is sequential. Period 1 is followed by Period 2; a time of holidays follows a term of study; one month follows the next. The other is ‘kairos’. This is ‘season time’. It is time with potential; the appropriate moment; the time to act and make decisions; the moment of which you make the most.

God operates in ‘kairos time’. He intervenes in human affairs to save, to challenge, to fulfil. The world is called into being; people are commissioned to a task; miracles happen; grace makes faith possible, the Word became flesh; Jesus will return in majesty and power. These are events and seasons of potential and significance, they are not limited to ‘chronos time’.

The Bible speaks frequently of using opportunities, of acting with effective urgency, of ‘redeeming the time’. Sometimes these ideas can be used to urge us to busyness, to challenge us to greater commitment, to stress the importance of not wasting time… all in the service of God, of course!

However, what is urged when the Bible speaks of ‘opportunity’ is not busyness, or frenetic effort for the Kingdom, or an obsession with maximising time use, but a freedom to engage in genuinely profitable activities, to do things that have eternal value, to move out of superficiality and into significance.

What is needed is alertness and wisdom to do those things that will build character, enrich relationship, bring people closer to God, promote spiritual growth, make the world a more enjoyable and wholesome place; or in Biblical words, just simply ‘doing good’.

A simple act of kindness in the school yard, an appropriate word of encouragement, covering for someone’s mistake rather than highlighting it, a readiness to serve without reward, standing by someone in troubled times, grace-filled conversation, demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit in the daily grind of life – this is the stuff of ‘redeeming the time’.
Some witty person has suggested that the reason we don’t hear ‘opportunity knock’ is that we’re over at the neighbours having a whinge. And if we did hear the knock, we would complain about the noise! To make the most of every opportunity that God provides does take a degree of self-denial, of being ‘other-centred’, of viewing the world through Jesus’ eyes.

In a community like a Christian school, we hopefully have others to help us do that; to keep us on track for the things that matter and not keep us busy with the things that don’t. Sometimes it’s really hard as there are a lot of things that just have to happen in a busy school. However, as we continue to seek God’s Kingdom in and through education, we pray that God will give us wisdom to not only make the most of the ‘chronos’ time that he has given us, but more importantly, to see the potential of the ‘kairos’ time that we find ourselves in.

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