What happens once in a minute, twice in a moment, but not once in a thousand years?

Answer? The letter M.

Time indeed is often a riddle, but the Bible has quite a bit to teach us about using time well.

Wise King Solomon in chapter 3 of his life journal Ecclesiastes explores the subject of time and lands on at least four truths about it worth remembering.

The first is that time is a gift from God.

“Everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – this is God’s gift to man,” he writes in verse 13.

You and I have no right to be here. We don’t deserve to be here. We didn’t buy our way here.  We are here not because of random forces of nature. We are here because of the sovereign will of Almighty God. It’s his gift to us. He willed you into existence, and knew your name before your parents even thought of it.

Why is it important to know this? Because it keeps us from losing our way in life. Jesus said the path to life is a narrow path and few there are that find it. If you’ve ever hiked on a narrow path, it’s very easy to fall off the trail, one side or the other. And when we forget that life is a gift of God, we humans can fall into one of two errors: arrogance or despair. 

There are those who strut about the earth like little kings and queens, thinking they own life, that they are in control, and that they have no need whatsoever for God in their life. But the day will come when life teaches them otherwise. The young are particularly vulnerable to this sort of thinking, which is why Solomon says later on in Ecclesiastes: “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.”

When we forget that life is a gift of God, we can fall into one of two errors: arrogance or despair. 

But some people fall off the path to life the other way. Their problem is that they don’t see themselves as important at all. They look at all of life around them, and take in the vastness of the universe and the billions of people walking the earth – and they see themselves as nothing, to the where despair or nihilism overtakes them.

It’s one of my life mottoes: we are made by God and for God. And until a person figures that out, they will stray from the path to life (i.e. they will experience less life than God intends).

You’re not a god, trust me in that. You’re far less in control than you realize. But you’re not just a worthless pile of molecules either, floating like pondscum on the sea of life. Because God willed you into existence, because God wants you here, when you get yourself in a right relationship with him, you’re going to start to see things differently, and those feelings of despair will start to wither on the vine.

There’s more in you than you know, because God put in there – so grow.

Bear Clifton is a pastor, writer and screenwriter. His blogs and devotionals can be enjoyed at his ministry website: trainyourselfministry.com and his writing website: blclifton.com. Bear is the author of “Train Yourself To Be Godly: A 40 Day Journey Toward Sexual Wholeness”, “Ben-Hur: The Odyssey”, and “A Sparrow Could Fall”, all available through Amazon.