Many years ago I attended a church which held services in a refurbished factory building in an industrial area. The church building was surrounded by small factory buildings which were all empty and quiet on a Sunday.
After the service, as I went to my car, I noticed a lone vehicle drive to one of the factories. A man opened the building and went inside. He may have had office work to do.
As I watched a thought came to mind, that it doesn’t matter how urgent the job a person might need done on a Sunday in that factory, nothing would be achieved, since there was no-one working and nothing productive going on.
That brought to mind the verse about working while it is day.
“I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day. The night is coming, when no man can work.” John 9:4
There are times when things can be done and other times when it is not possible to do things. During the week the factory is a place of work and productivity. On the weekend it is closed and silent. The machines aren’t working and there is no-one to make anything happen. No matter how desperate you might be to get a job done, it just won’t happen until the factory opens up again and the workers arrive to make things happen.
The manager can stand there all day on a Sunday watching the silent machines, wishing they would get a job done. But that’s a waste of time, no matter how desperate he might be to meet some deadline or get a project finished.
So I made a mental note that i must ‘Work While It Is Day’ because there won’t always be the opportunity to get things done.
That concept has a number of applications.
While you are young and unencumbered with responsibility you have time for study, apprenticeship, discipline, training and preparation. If you waste those years you can’t get them back. You have to work on your study and preparation while you have opportunity, because that season of opportunity will pass.
Solomon specifically directs youth to use their young years to connect with God, including a sense that it is the timely thing to do.
“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, or the years draw nigh, when you will say, I have no pleasure in life” Ecclesiastes 12:1
While you have strength make sure you get things done. That might even apply to those who find they tire early in the day. Work while you have capacity.
And if you think of something that needs to be done, go ahead and do it. Many people regret that they didn’t attend to something when they kept feeling prompted to, because the situation changed. God may well prompt you at times to get onto something. God knows you have the time and opportunity and how limited that opportunity will be. So “Work While It Is Day!” Get out and DO IT! The time will come when you won’t be able to do what you can now get to.
On some occasions you might be given a window of opportunity. For example you might be travelling near some friends or relatives you hardly catch up with, or you might be invited to do something you’d like to do but don’t get the chance to do. Some situation might come up that is not common and which gives you opportunity to achieve something not easily achieved. Think about what Jesus said about working while the opportunity is there. It might mean changing your schedule, squeezing something in, getting an extra early start, or something a little challenging, but this is an opportunity that might not come again in a hurry. Work while it is day! Take advantage of the ‘day’ of opportunity, and get done what might otherwise be impossible to do.
Sometimes you might have to go to some effort to create an opportunity. If you’ve always thought of writing a letter, or catching up with distant friends by a phone call or internet connection, then realise you actually have opportunity right now, and that opportunity may not always be there. If you’ve always planned to drop in on old friends, or to return a borrowed item, or stop at some roadside attraction you normally drive right past, then stop and realise you have opportunity which you are wasting.
Work while it is day! Get to it. Create the connection, make the moment, open the opportunity that is lying dormant right now.
For those of us who want to see other people connect with God, there are many opportunities each day. Take advantage of those opportunities right now. Share the gospel, shine your light, be salt, speak a word in season.
A final reflection on working while it is day, is the fact that our life is temporary. We will one day die and not be able to do any of the things left undone. So this is the ‘day’ of opportunity for you, to do courageously, diligently and effectively the things that deserve to be done.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
Did you hear what I said? Work While It Is Day!!!!