In our desire to talk with people about Christ we can come up against many hindrances. One of which may include the lack of time. It seems that the more technologically advanced we become—which is meant to streamline tasks and save us time—we may feel like we have less time. What are we to do?
A recent Columbus Dispatch article (August 26, 2015) explains a study that shows the average Columbus commuter is “stuck in traffic delays” for an average of 41 hours each year. While the article muses on what one could do with this lost time, think about how you could use your “idle” time. Perhaps you could pray for those in your life who don’t know Jesus or for opportunities to share the Gospel with others when you arrive at your destination. Although 41 hours spread out over a year isn’t a whole lot of time per day, you’ve still intentionally used your time in a productive way to reclaim an unproductive situation. Maybe you’re not literally stuck in traffic but have a 30 minute commute to your workplace. Try turning off the gadgets and radio so you can pray. Consider praying for 15 minutes of that time (this is approximately 62 hours per year if you work 250 days). Caution: If driving, do not bow your head or close your eyes while praying, as this could be disastrous.
If you sense that you don’t have time to reach out to others, try to incorporate opportunities to share the Gospel into your normal day and normal activities. Don’t look at sharing the Gospel as an “add-on.” For example, we all need to eat to sustain life, so invite a coworker to join you for lunch. Take time during lunch to learn their story. Since you’ve used your “idle” time in a way that is productive (by praying), you’re more likely to be sensitive to those situations where God is at work and see them as opportunities to share the Gospel.
Create some margins…no, not along a sheet of notebook paper, but rather the margins that are non-existent in our schedules. Here is a challenge for you: for the next couple of days—maybe even an entire week—write down how you use your time. In a former place of employment I conducted work studies. It was amazing how busy someone thought they were, but as the study was conducted, they realized just how much time was used on unimportant tasks including the amount of idle time they had. I think you will be surprised what your study actually reveals.
Finally take some time (I know, you don’t have much) to prioritize your schedule. The hard truth of the matter is that if something is truly important to us, we’ll find time for it. The hindrance of lack of time is probably real, but even with our limited time we can find some for what God says is super important: sharing the Gospel.
Look for those moments of opportunity in your life and redeem them so that they have eternal value.
Gary Webb is the Adult Ministries Pastor. He and his wife, Beth, were transferred down to Columbus from Toledo in 1988 while he worked for UPS. Gary worked as an engineer for over 12 years for UPS and Children’s Hospital. During those years the Webbs became involved at Grace. He joined the pastoral staff in 2000. Gary studied engineering (University of Toledo) and theology (Grace Seminary). Gary enjoys coaching, running, biking, swimming and hiking. Gary and Beth have 3 adult children and one grandchild.