Lenten Devotional – Tues, March 22

Day 19 – Time


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.  Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. 
Philippians 4:4-9

Focusing your heart on God during Lent can bring some things to the surface. For instance, as we surrender all we are to God it becomes plain that we waste too much time. You know how it goes – you want to give more to God – maybe find a way to give of yourself in some way. But who’s got the time to sacrifice? Our lives are already full. How can we possibly cram more into them? 
Then I look at the prayer of St. Ephrem – “Take from me the spirit of laziness…” “idle talk…” Oh yeah, we waste a lot of time and energy on things that don’t matter.

I wonder what we could sacrifice to God from our schedule? What could we give up and what could we add to our time to make it more significant? Look over the Lenten Prayer again. St. Ephrem asks God to take from him the things that are insignificant – laziness, despair, lust of power, and idle talk. These things don’t add much to who you are. They only steal your focus away from God.

Maybe we should start there. What in your life steals your focus away from God? Remember, you have 1440 minutes every day – which ones are wasted?
Maybe a second question is “What is making them wasted?” Is it your attitude? Your intentions? Your lack of purpose in them?

St. Ephrem also asked God to add something to him – to change something about him. He asked for the “spirit of purity, humility, patience, and love. Are these things missing from the time we waste? Think through those times this way – is there any purity in those moments? Does that time lend itself to humility? Am I demonstrating patience then? Does the activity build love in me?
If not, maybe the time could be sacrificed.

Give Up
Give up some time this week. Check your schedule. Is there any time that is wasted time? Give it to God. See what He can do with it.

Take Up
Add something good to your time – volunteer somewhere, give it to someone in need, or use it in prayer and meditation on scripture.

Look Up
Our prayer for today –
Lord, I confess that my time is not my time. If I am surrendered to you then all my time belongs to you. Show me how to use it wisely and for your glory. Point out any time wasted today – and help me find ways to give it to you.
Amen.

Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer

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