Many of us struggle with how we use time, often wishing for more time, often pressured by time. Human beings are different from any other creature on this earth. We are aware of time. We are also blessed with both memory and imagination. We can remember the past and we can imagine our future. These enable us to live thoughtful and creative lives.
However, our memory and our imagination also create problems for us. Often our minds are influenced by painful memories and by negative, imaginative thoughts of the future. Our memory reminds us of past fears, worries, guilts, hurts and discouragement. It may say, for example, “Remember how foolish you felt when you tried something new in second grade and the class laughed at you.” And so we back away from change because of memories. We decide not to try something new.
Memories, conscious and unconscious, cause us to be fearful of the future. Many of our fears, worries, and jealousies, are created by our negative imaginations. We picture the worst happening? We say to ourselves, what if ____ happened? And then we start to worry about “it” happening. Someone has said that worry about the future is interest paid on a debt that may never come due. Worry changes nothing and keeps us from growing and trying new things.
How do we not worry in our complex world? We can use our minds, our memories and our imaginations to remind us that God is in charge and that his purposes are good. We can then make conscious choices about how we use the time we have (the present). Only mankind is capable of this. We can remember the past but we don’t have to be bound by the past. With God’s help we can use our wills, to set priorities and to move toward them. This way we use our time wisely.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6