"I do not have time."
Week beginning: 19th January, 2020 | By Graham Whitworth | Sunbury-on-Thames
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets.Hebrews 11:31-32 (NIV)
We know nothing about the anonymous writer to the Hebrews, but he managed to produce a weighty letter full of rich theology. His detailed account of people commended for their faith ends with a Gentile prostitute, and is followed by only a brief summary of the exploits of some of Israel's most significant leaders. Why is that? Because the writer did not have time! Yet this chapter tells us all we need to know about the "cloud of witnesses" spurring us on to run the race set before us (12:1); or at least we have some more names to look up in the Old Testament.
Such pressure of time will be familiar to practising lawyers. There are deadlines to meet, set by statute, the Court, clients and other parties to transactions. Time recorded in excess of the fee estimate may need to be written off. Other clients' business competes for our attention. Will we have time to get everything done?
Our doctrine of Scripture tells us that this writer was inspired by God. He demonstrates that it is possible to do everything God wants us to do within the available time. If we seek His guidance, we may find that some things we would like to achieve are not so important after all, and that what we can actually achieve is sufficient for His purposes.
- For the ability to make the best use of the time available to complete each piece of work, concentrating on what will be sufficient to achieve its purpose, rather than our own standard of perfection.
- For self-discipline in managing our time and priorities, not only in the conduct of professional business, but also in the various parts of our lives, including work, family, church and leisure.
- For help to invest sufficient time in our relationship with God, including personal worship, prayer for ourselves and for others and allowing Him to speak into our lives about His priorities for us.