We’re instructed in Ephesians 5 to redeem the time. There are many ways to do this, but first, let’s look at the verse in context:
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.” Ephesians 5:15-21
We are to walk wisely, not as fools, because the days are evil. There are specific instructions on how to do this, too, such as understanding the will of God, being filled with the Spirit, singing, and giving thanks.
Redeeming the time is a lifestyle. And yet I think it applies to specifics as well, even something like commute time. Whether it’s to work or school, or even taking your kids to soccer practice, commute time is an opportunity. Personally, I have about a 30 minute commute each way to work, but instead of an annoyance, that time has become incredibly precious to me, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Here are some specific ways from Ephesians 5 to redeem commute time:
Understanding the Will of the Lord.
Time in the car is the perfect opportunity to listen to Scripture. Talk to God. Listen to God. It’s an opportunity to be quiet before Him. Perhaps to be alone with Him. Perhaps to bring your children into redeeming the time together. Sometimes, as I intentionally surround myself with Scripture and take time to listen, His will becomes clearer than when I’m in the busyness of life.
Instead of drunkenness, being filled with the Spirit.
So, obviously, no drunk driving. But seriously, what are things that I allow to cloud my mind? What distractions keep me from being filled with the Spirit? Seeking God while commuting, setting aside those distractions, and asking Him to clear my mind and prepare me for the task ahead, is time well spent. I find that I need this time as I prepare my heart and mind to go serve at work, and I also need it as I work through how the day went and prepare to go home and serve there.
Speaking to one another.
If alone, commuting can be an opportunity to fellowship with friends, make those phone calls we so often put off, and use the time well. Driving with others is also an excellent opportunity for fellowship. Don’t waste it in flippant conversation, or turn it into a instruction/discipline session for the kids. I have fond memories of singing together as a family on the way to church. Reciting Scripture verses we were memorizing together. Listening to good books on tape. Deep conversations. Time redeemed.
Singing and Making Melody in Your Heart to the Lord
Listening to good music and singing are some of my favorite things to do while driving. You don’t have to be a good singer, especially if you’re all alone. You can make this a wonderful worship time. Choose what you listen to carefully. Sing along. Sing from memory. Meditate on the lyrics (if you were good about choosing carefully!). Make melody in your heart to the Lord.
Does praying out loud feel awkward, even if you’re alone? A great place to start is thanking God. Declaring out loud who He is. Recounting specific small things where you saw Him work that day. Deliberately adjusting your focus. Especially if it was rushed getting out the door, or if your day just didn’t go how you’d planned. Nothing changes your attitude quite like thanksgiving!
Submitting to One Another
Okay, this one’s a little harder to apply in this context. And yet, if you’re sitting in traffic as part of your commute, I suppose a little submission and patience isn’t a bad thing. Oh, and if you’re driving a car full of kids, well, submission to one another in the fear of the Lord is a very good thing, especially when you’re in close quarters with people who drive you a bit nuts. Never mind, this applies perfectly!
What other ideas do you have for redeeming the time while commuting? Please share below in the comments! May your commuting be blessed!