THAT’S from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (7, 29) It means that time is short. It strongly reminds us that we cannot afford to waste time which is a most precious resource we have in fulfilling the ultimate goal of our life.
The complete passage goes this way: “What I am saying, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who weep, as if they did not; those who are joyful, as if they were not; those who make a purchase, as if they had nothing…”
This passage should be complemented with what St. James also said in his letter. “You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (4, 14)
The main message is that we should not get so confused and lost in the drama of life as to ignore and forget the real and ultimate purpose of our life. Therefore we need to manage our time well, seeing to it that whatever we do or whatever situation and condition we find ourselves in, we have to be sure that our time is spent in such a way it would bring us to our eternal destiny. We cannot afford to be idle, lazy, aimless, etc.
Time management is not only for some engineering projects. We need time management in our personal lives as well, and especially in our spiritual lives, that is, in our life of love with God and with everybody else.
For this, we have to be clear about the real purpose of our life and of how each event, condition and circumstance in our life can be related to that ultimate goal of ours. This is an indispensable skill we have to develop and help everybody else to also acquire for themselves.
At the moment, we can readily see so much wastage of time or so much time misspent, misused, abused. Many people are sunk in idleness and laziness, or if they appear to be active, they are active in the wrong way, much like what St. Augustine once said that people can run fast but out of the track. They will never reach the finish line.
We have to be wary of the many distractions that are around these days. They indeed are powerful in their allurement, but we have to develop the proper antidote. What can help, of course, is to have some kind of daily plan or schedule that is prepared before the presence of God so that we reflect the proper priorities in it.
We have to sharpen our sense of focus and purpose. It is without doubt that we have to contend with many distracting things in life. We have to learn to be quick in discerning what is truly essential from the many things we are exposed to. Together with this sense of focus is the sense of flexibility when new things or some unexpected or surprising things appear.
If we are truly serious with our use of time, it might be a good idea also to submit ourselves to some timer, stopwatch or alarm watch, since we tend to get so carried away by the excitement of a given task that we may get stuck with it, forgetting the many other tasks that we have to do.
Such use of the timer would sharpen our sense of time and our skill of budgeting our resources properly. When we do not have this awareness, we tend to waste or misspend our time and our other resources.
The most important thing to remember that we are always conscious that whatever we do, we do it out of love for God and for everybody. That should be the constant motive by which our use of time is measured./PN