Saturday, March 15, 2008

Free Time

Occasionaly, I am asked by someone who thinks it is a great question, what I do in my free time. And being a bit of a snob about words, I lately have begun wondering just what the modifier "free" is supposed to mean in regard to time. I suppose I could go off on all the possible uses of "free" but that clearly would only lengthen this post but not get us anywhere useful. So, I am proposing that when someone uses "free" to designate some time, they are suggesting that it is time that is not bound by any restrictions, outside expectations, or relational obligations. That is, "free" time is time that no one gets to spend, or define how it is going to be spent ... but me. It isn't my bosses time, or my family's time, or my weekly chores' time. It is time that is mine to spend as I choose.

So, here's the deal. Turns out I don't have any free time. Oh, I have time when I do what I want to do, but technically, God actually has a vested interest in that too. And I would have to admit that often, when I do what I want to do with my time, I look back and believe that I could have used it better. This is especially true when I look at my life through the lens of Paul's call to "redeem the time" because the days in which we live are so evil. Given the evil that abounds, and the opportunity Christ-followers have to be - and do - good, it only makes sense that we use all of our time in a way that pleases God.

So, if "free" time is time that carries no expectations from outside ourselves, those who have taken Christ's call seriously - "deny yourself, take up the cross, and follow Me" - have to admit that they don't have any. What we do have is "following" time. That is, all of our time is to be spent following Christ, whether it's on the job, or in the market, or on the ball field or golf course, or in the home or even taking a nap (a much needed piece of Sabbath rest lost in most lives!). We've been set free from the bondage of sin, but not so we can have "free" time. No, our times are in His hands, and He graciously grants us life and breath so we can honor him ... all the time.

Hope this helps,



At 12:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, so I'm going though all your blogs and reading them. I wish I had a gift for words or "word snob" as you called your self. Your explanation of "free" time is great. It's right on and it is convicting. When I do choose to do something that isn't dictated by other obligations, chores, etc. is what I'm doing furthering Christ and honoring him. Ouch! So, how much t.v. time is that and is what I'm watching really honoring? It may not be technically bad but is it worthy of Christ? With that being said I should probably take the dog on more walks, workout at the gym more (yikes) and clean my house more (yuck) and read more books. All that would honor God more than t.v.

Laurie Troy


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