Editorial: Making Time For God
by Marian Shek
In the blink of an eye, another new year is upon us. At this point, we will usually look back and reflect on what we have achieved over the past year. Some will be satisfied that they have made the most of their time, while others will be disappointed that they did not reach their desired goals. Sadly, our personal ambitions often become buried under the more mundane dealings of life—and this is especially true of our spiritual ambitions.
Many will recognize the feeling that time is always against them, whether they are a student working to deadline, a professional juggling multiple projects, or a parent managing a chaotic household. It can often seem like there are not enough hours in a day. As Christians, we also have the duty to cultivate our spirituality and serve the Lord. But when our time and energy are limited, our faithfulness and service towards God are usually the first to suffer. After all, we think we can always draw closer to God later on, when we have more time. But is this really the case?
In fact, in this age of hyper-connectedness, any spare time that we have is easily filled with work tasks or mindless distractions. We never quite get round to devoting quality time to God. It, therefore, requires a conscious effort to set aside time for daily spiritual cultivation, to schedule our holidays around church commitments, such that church work always comes first, and to allocate top priority for God in our packed lives.
We may think that we can make time for God if we had better time management and multitasking skills. This is true to a certain extent, but this perspective defines God’s work as just another task to tick off the ‘to-do’ list, to be done as quickly as possible, or left till last with the rest of the non-urgent items.
The writers in this issue of Manna offer a different view—instead of making time for God as part of a good work-life balance, God should be our primary commitment, and all other areas that require our time and energy should revolve around this commitment. Whatever we choose to do is entirely driven by God.
As God has given us a limited time on earth, we should redeem it wisely—not spending it in pursuit of worldly success and that which will fade away, but in pursuit of God’s will, laying up treasures in heaven (Eph 5:15–16; Mt 6:19–21).
God allows us to choose how we spend our time, but at every moment, He should not be too far from our thoughts:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deut 6:5–7)
If God is the center of our lives, then His will reaches into and illuminates every part of our lives. The struggling student will find the strength to complete his work through daily prayer; harried parents will find the patience and wisdom to raise their children by studying the word of God; and the professional will find that using his skills to support church work is no longer a burden and sacrifice, but a rich source of blessing and an essential part of his life.
We need to grasp every opportunity to serve the Lord and draw closer to Him, while there is still time. So whatever our resolutions for the coming year, let us resolve to make more time for God.