It is so easy to get caught up in activities – to run from one to another without stopping to ask the Lord what He wants us to do, and how He wants us to spend our time. It doesn’t even mean that the activities aren’t good, but I’m sure the Lord doesn’t want my schedule to be as full as it is. That’s when I get overwhelmed – when I get frozen – and it seems like I cannot take one more step. It is during these seasons that I stop and realize that I am running on my own power, and not depending on the Lord. It is during these seasons that I am reminded that I don’t know how much time I have here on earth. Do I want to spend my time in busyness, attending to this and that, or do I want to spend my time and talents working for the kingdom of God? The following devotional from Dr. Charles Stanley was a reminder I needed, and perhaps you do, too.

Our lives are governed by time. That’s why we’re surrounded by clocks and calendars that dictate our activities. As the minutes tick by, we wonder where the day went. When responsibilities and pressures mount, we complain, “I just don’t have time to get it all done!” But the reality is that God has given us enough time to do exactly what He’s planned for our lives. Perhaps the bigger issue is whether we are using our time to do our will or the Lord’s.

“This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:14-17)

Time is a gift from God, and He has allotted each of us a measure in which to live and accomplish His purposes. We have only two options—to spend it temporally on our own interests or invest it eternally. Since time can never be retrieved or reversed, it’s critical that we make the most of every opportunity the Lord provides.

The key to investing in eternity is following God’s plan for your life, not just filling your days with activities. Jesus was allocated just thirty-three years of life on earth, but only the last three were spent in fulfilling His Messianic ministry. To us that seems like a waste of time. Yet Christ accomplished everything His Father gave Him to do. That’s why on the cross He could say, “It is finished” (John 19:30).

Scripture compares earthly life to “a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14), but eternal life never ends. It’s foolish to spend your life on a vapor when you can reap everlasting benefits by following God’s will for your time here. Each day is an opportunity to choose.