Make the Most of Your Time (plus a book in the works)

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16

The Greek word translated “your time” in this passage is kairos, which refers more to our whole time here on earth than it does to the minutes and hours in our days. We in the English-speaking world tend to view time like a lap pool at the YMCA — we’re standing at one end, and the thing we want is at the other end — so we simply have to cross the pool as quickly as we can in order to reach our goal (whatever that may be). We do everything we can to beat the hands of the clock. But to what end? If we’re honest with ourselves, most of the time we don’t think much farther beyond the next task. Much less beyond this life. 

Granted, making the most of our time here on earth does require us to live well-ordered lives rather than flying by the seat of our pants and ignoring the ever-ticking clock, but if we only use this portion of Scripture to advocate time management, we’re missing the point. The context surrounding this small passage of Scripture points to something far grander than keeping up with our day planners. Right before these two verses, after contrasting the darkness of sin with the light of Christ, Ephesians 5:13-14 say this: 

But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, 
“Awake, sleeper, 
And arise from the dead, 
And Christ will shine on you.”

That’s why the passage at the beginning of this post starts with the connecting word “Therefore”. In other words, since everything hidden will one day become exposed, we who are in Christ are to walk in wisdom and make the most of our time here on earth — our kairos. Does that include good time management? Absolutely. Is it limited to time management? No. 

Make the most of your life. I can’t say what that will look like for you. I hardly know what it looks like for myself. But here are a couple of thoughts. 

  1. The world has it backwards. Making the most of your life, within the overarching narrative of our culture, means eking out every drop of pleasure you can before you die. It’s all about you. You’re the center of the universe, so the most admirable thing you can do is to check everything off your bucket list before you kick the bucket. That’s a life well-lived. Or so they say. 
  2. Even if you don’t share the self-centered, hedonistic philosophy of our age, you may be struck, as I often am, with the question of “How can I make the most of my life without doing something big?” But as I search the Scriptures and experience life, I am less convinced that God wants us to do something “big” than to live lives of ordinary faithfulness. 

For years I was convinced that unless I was overseas on the front lines of bringing the good news of Jesus to the unreached, I was wasting my life. But while I am still convinced of and passionate about the great and urgent need to reach every people group with the gospel, I no longer consider other callings and other Christians as second class (as I wrongfully did for so long). While God does have “big” things planned for some of us, most of us are called to live lives of simple faithfulness to our Creator and Savior right where He’s planted us. 

If you know Emily and me personally, or have followed our story the past eleven years, you know of the great disappointment we experienced when God made it clear through my disability that He had something in mind for us other than overseas church planting. While I don’t pretend to know the details or reasons behind my great God’s redirection of our lives, I do know that He has called us to walk with wisdom and make the most of our kairos. 

For more than a decade, people have been asking, encouraging, begging and nagging me to write a book. At first, my lazy self could only see it as nagging. They were selfishly trying to read all about the details of my life, I thought. I had better, more important ways to spend my time, I thought. Me, me, me, I thought. But God has convinced me that in serving Him with the gifts, talents, and yes, time that He’s given me, my ordinary faithfulness may turn out to be something kind of “big” after all.  And as it turns out, a book about my story, just like my story itself, isn’t really about me. It’s about God, and the tools He’s using to display His glory and love through my bride and me. 

That said, the intimidation of writing a whole book is perhaps the biggest thing that has held me back all these years, so I’d like to ask two things. 

  1. Please pray for me. I want to write to the best of my ability, but that takes work. And work that’s not physical is something my sinful nature spurns. God has blessed Emily and me with an army of prayer warriors over the years, so I’m asking with confidence. Thank you. 
  2.  Please contact me at if you have any relevant experience with books — writing, publishing, or anything in between (sorry, reading doesn’t count) — and I’d love to pick your brain. 

If you’re in Christ and have been washed by His blood, take a look at your life. Not with shame that you haven’t done anything “big”. Not with arrogance that your accomplishments outnumber those of others. And not with fear that you’ll never be able to do something worthwhile. The world is obsessed with recognition and adulation. Jesus calls us to something higher, something greater than applause from our fellow humans. He calls us to unglamorous, ordinary faithfulness in the mundane of life, that will result in the highest praise imaginable: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master.”

Make the most of your kairos

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  1. Continuing in prayer as God uses your witness to challenge the rest of s.

  2. Well said, Lane! We will be praying!!

  3. Just this morning I was reminded through my study of 1 & 2 Peter how we are forgetful people who need reminding constantly. It is wisdom to remember. I so appreciate this reminder from you of the importance of Gospel fueled faithfulness in the daily living and serving. God doesn’t just get glory from “the big” things. He uses everything we offer to bring Himself glory. Chad and I will be praying for you and Emily as you embark on this literary journey. God has been preparing you for this even if it doesn’t feel like it.

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