More Time at the Office
I recently read about Vince Foster. He was the deputy presidential counsel to President Clinton. He spoke to the 1993 graduating class of Arkansas University School of Law just six weeks before his controversial death. In his speech, he spoke of his love for family and his wife of 25 years. He encouraged graduates to "balance wisely your professional life and your family life. No one was ever heard to say on a death bed, 'I wish I had spent more time at the office.'"

Many people, myself included, struggle to achieve a balance between our professional lives and our family lives. As I sit at my computer and compose this article, I realize the brevity of life. I'm coming to understand it more and more each day. I can remember my high school years so clearly--next summer will be the ten-year reunion for our graduating class! I remember graduating from college in 2000 and getting married--that was over five years ago! I remember witnessing the birth of our two sons--the oldest is already three years old. Life passes so quickly. How are you spending your time?

If we don't maintain a proper balance regarding how we spend our time, we'll come to have a lot of regrets as we continue to age. We'll regret missing certain events in the lives of our children. We'll regret not developing the kind of relationship we could have with our spouse. We'll regret not completing certain tasks that are truly worthwhile. We'll regret missing out on the simple pleasures of life. We'll regret spending so much time at the office and so much time working on things that don't really matter.

The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:15-17 - "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Paul encouraged the first century Christians to be wise, not foolish, in how they use the time God had entrusted to them. He exhorted them to comprehend what God's will is and then invest their time toward the fulfillment of that will.

Friends, everyone must make their own decisions as to how they can best use their time. We must all decide how much of our lives we are willing to invest in our jobs, in our spouses, in our children, in spiritual efforts, in hobbies or recreation, etc. Once these decisions are made, they should continually be re-evaluated and adjusted as necessary. Circumstances in life are always changing. Thus, the way we spend our time should not necessarily be constant. Also, it should be understood that a proper time balance for me may not be a proper time balance for you. What you might consider to be wasted time, I might deem to be helpful or even necessary--or vice versa. But, who am I to judge you in such matters? "For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ...So then each of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:10,12). God knows what we are each capable of and what gifts or talents He has entrusted to us. He expects us to be faithful in the use of those gifts. He, better than anyone else, knows the particular circumstances of us all.

Dear listeners, this lesson is intended to be nothing more than an exhortation to examine the way you spend your time and to remind you that you will one day give an account for the choices you are making today. Are you truly "redeeming the time" in a way the Lord would be pleased with? Or, are you spending more time than you should in areas that are ultimately insignificant?