On Time | A Different New Year’s Reflection

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William Penn

With not only the turn of the year, but also the turn of the decade, it’s been a week of reflections. All over social media, I’ve seen (and participated in) #decadeinreview and #decadechallenge, where people post what all has happened in the past year and decade.

As I went to post this, I realized that even a lot of time has passed here on the blog since you heard from me. I turned thirty, started a new position as work and most significantly, became a mama.

Now that the calendar has turned from December to January, our focus is turning forward, instead of looking to the accomplishments and memories of the past, it’s time to set goals and dreams for the future year and decade.

I’m no exception and perhaps one of the most likely candidates for new year’s resolutions.I’m a walking calendar, able to recite dates and milestones at the drop of a hat, and my planner is always my favorite purchase of the year. One such goal I’d set for the new year is to study who God is. Instead of listening to who others say God is, who does God reveal himself to be in scriptures?

God’s and Our Relationships with Time

It just so happened this last week I was reading about God’s attribute of being eternal. With the help of Jen Wilkin’s book None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (And Why That’s a Good Thing), I was reminded:

  • God is unbound by and outside of time (Revelation 1:8)
    • Therefore, he has no regrets
    • Therefore, things that happen in time don’t concern or worry him because he can travel (is present in) the past, present and future
  • God knows me outside of time (Psalm 139)
    • Therefore, I can rest in his love (he knows who I was, am and will be and loves me still)
  • All of God’s actions within time happen at just the right time. (Ecclesiastes 3)
    • Therefore, I can trust him (he sees all and makes the best decision for his good purposes)

In addition, Jen Wilkin pointed out how God’s perfect relationship with and existence outside of time are attributes that we do not share. In addition to being bound by time, we also misuse the time we’re given.

A Different New Years Reflection

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard 

This view challenged me to look at the new year as an opportunity not just to set goals and make resolutions, but instead to take a step back and think about how I am viewing and using the time I’ve been given.

  • Am I living fully in the present or wishing I was elsewhere?
  • Am I fully using the time I’ve been given?
  • Am I remembering that my tomorrow is not guaranteed?
  • Am I acknowledging and resting in God’s sovereignty over time?

In this new year and decade, I pray you use your time well and remember that “the years have no hold on God; yet he determines ours.” (Wilkin, pg.78) May the following be true of you in 2020: 

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;

establish the work of our hands for us—

yes, establish the work of our hands.” – Psalm 90:17

Three More Reflection Questions

  1. How would believing that God is eternal change the way you live?
  2. Which time-based sin do you struggle with the most and how might you use the practices outlined above to combat it? 
  3. This new year, what can you put into practice to remember the truth that God is sovereign over time?

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