John urges us not to love the treasures of this world. Another way of saying this is not to fall in love with time. Time has to do with the earth. Yes, time is important, but it is not a thing to be worshipped or to serve. If time becomes your master, you will not be able to serve God. If time becomes your treasure, your heart will be enslaved to the wrong master.
How can loving time be a bad thing for your family? Time is the enemy of building relationships that address the issues of the heart. Schedules, appointments, practices, tee-times are all good things that have their place. However, when they take precedence over healing the wounds of the heart, these good things become the not-so-good.
Too often, the phrase, “She’ll get over it” leaves a deep relational wound which can take months, if ever, to heal unless the therapeutic oil of time is applied. Time is required to listen well, to consider and speak wise, pleasant, edifying words. Time is unique. Time communicates that you care in ways that material things cannot do. You cannot serve your family and time. You cannot serve your God and time.
I was reminded once again of the toxic seduction of time by the prayer of Sir Francis Drake. Drake offered this stunning prayer as he was circumnavigating the world in 1577. His words about loving time hit home. God was real to Drake. May we have the courage to ask God to disturb us as he disturbed Drake.
Disturb us, O Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves, when our dreams come true because we dream too little; when we have arrived in safety because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, O Lord, when with the abundance of the things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the water of life; when having fallen in love with time, we have ceased to dream of eternity, and in our efforts to build the new earth, have allowed our vision of the new heaven to grow dim. Stir us, O Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms shall show thy mastery and, when losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes and invited the brave to follow, even the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord. —Sir Francis Drake, 1577
This post originally appeared on Shepherd Press and was republished with permission.
Jay Younts is the author of Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, and he is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is a ruling elder at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.