Suggested Reading: Ecclesiastes 3
Over the past few weeks many of us have had something that we normally don’t have at our disposal, time. As I’ve continued to connect with people and tried to minister during our current situation, I’ve found that people are doing different things to fill their time. Some are spending more time with family, others are doing things around their house like yard work or needed maintenance, while others are catching up on some sleep and their reading list. I’ve done all of the above, but there are three things that I am doing personally that I would like to share and encourage you to do as well.
1. I’ve taken time to reflect.
The truth is that time isn’t a new commodity. We’ve had it all along. We’ve just spent it or invested it in other things. Over the past few weeks I’ve tried to evaluate where I’ve been spending my time. Am I making the right investments? Am I spending it with the right people? Am I doing the right things? I would encourage you to ask yourself these questions as well. You may be surprised at your conclusions.
2. I’ve had a time of repentance.
My reflection has brought me to a time of repentance. I’ve been faced with the reality that there has been time that I have wasted and time that I have invested in the wrong places and with the wrong people. I’ve realized that I have things in my life that shouldn’t be there. I’ve had to ask God for forgiveness and ask forgiveness of others as well. As you take time to reflect, be ready to repent.
3. I’m looking for replacements.
One of my professors at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. John Ewart, says that where many people fall short is in the area of replacement. Once we see things in our lives that we must repent of after repentance, we should look to replace those bad habits with good ones. He uses an example that I can relate to personally. Every year thousands of young people go to youth camp. Many of them have a time of repentance and forgiveness, however, a few months later, they are doing many of the same things they’ve repented of at camp. I did this same thing growing up and even as an adult. While I’ve come to realize specific things that I must remove from my life during COVID-19, I must now look to what I am going to replace them with going forward. What are the right investments? Who should I spend time with in the future? Which good habits do I need to develop to replace the bad ones?
God has stopped us all in our tracks over the past few weeks. Let’s not waste the opportunity that we have to evaluate our lives and learn the lessons that God has for us to learn.