What is a moment of time? Scripture relates a moment to “the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52). God told Israel that their many years of captivity were but “a small moment” in His eternal counsel (Isaiah 54:7). The apostle Paul knew that the trials of this life, when compared to a vast eternity, are just a “light affliction, which is but for a moment” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
A “moment” is definitely a relative and subjective measurement of time. A moment spent in pain is much longer than a moment spent in pleasure. The average human life—measured in seconds—consists of between 2 and 3 billion moments. That sounds like a large figure until you compare it with an atomic clock, which records more than 9 billion moments every second.
Counting the Moments
The Psalmist prayed, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). If we are to be wise, to “walk circumspectly, not as fools” (Ephesians 5:15), the first thing we must do is take stock of our time. How many moments do we have left? How will we spend them?
With today’s busy schedules, it may rightly seem that once we have stretched ourselves to accomplish the day’s tasks, all we have left over are some spare moments—odd fragments of time. Remember the feeding of the five thousand? After the Lord had stretched five barley loaves and two small fish to accomplish that miracle, He said to the disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost” (John 6:12). If we simply gather up the moments of left over time in our day, we may find we also have “twelve baskets”—a veritable feast—that can either be put to use or left to spoil.
Making the Moments Count
Once we “number our days,” that is, begin to view our life and use of time in the context of eternity, we will be better equipped to obey the exhortation of Ephesians 5:16: “redeeming the time.” It is interesting to note that the Greek word translated “time” in this verse (as well as in the similar verse in Colossians 4:5) is not chronos, which speaks of time as we primarily understand it today—a measured span of moments (see Acts 18:20,23), but rather kairos, also translated as “season” or “opportunity” (see Acts 24:25; Galatians 6:10).
As we begin to look at time from God’s perspective, it will no longer be a taskmaster ruling our lives, but a resource—a season of opportunities for serving and glorifying our true Master! Jesus knew the value of redeeming, or buying up, the opportunities around Him:
“I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).
The season for hunting souls and growing spiritual fruit will not last forever: “Behold, now is the accepted time [season]; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
—T. Don Johnson