Burn the Midnight Oil


Did I tell you that I had a Puerto Rican Sister?  Agnes is her name.  We share the same last name — well actually, we used to share the same last name, but then I got married and became a Dunbar.

I met Agnes a few years back at church, but now we work together.  Today, we jumped into my car and went to grab a quick bite to eat.  Our kind boss allows us to venture out for an hour, but we only spent about 20 minutes eating our 6 inch subs.

“Agnes, it’s only 12:35.  Let’s go party!” I exclaimed after checking the clock on my iPhone.  We were sitting in my car at a red light.

She replied, “We have time to burn…  or is it, time to kill?

“I think both sayings are correct.”  Sometimes Agnes asks me to clarify American sayings.

“What’s that other saying,  something about burning the midnight oil?” my Puerto Rican Sister asks.

“I don’t think that one will work here, Agnes.  ‘Burning the midnight oil’ means you don’t have a lot of time on your hands.”

Back in my office, I sit down at my desk and got to work with a sense of urgency.  I won’t be in the office tomorrow, so I must complete the project at hand today.  I don’t want to stay late and “burn the midnight oil,” I think.

That’s when it hit me.  The contrast is stark.  How am I facing my days as I look toward eternity?  Do I act as if I have plenty of time to burn, or am I burning the midnight oil and living with a sense of urgency because I understand that time is short?

Paul encourages us in Ephesians to “redeem the time.”  I love how The Message translation says it:

 Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! (Eph. 5: 11-16)

It’s time to burn a little midnight oil, my friends.  Make the most of every chance you get.  Time is short.

Q4U:  How do you “redeem” the time?

My one-word focus for the year is “fruitilicious.”  Find out what that means here.

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Hear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday, Faith-Filled Friday, Thought-Provoking ThursdayTell His Story,  Playdates with God and Soli Deo Gloria.


Photo Credit:  Pedro Simao

18 responses

  1. Love how you connected an everyday conversation with a message related to salvation and eternity – nicely done, Lyli. Those Ecclesiastes verses from The Message hit home hard – I suspect a lot of times I am wasting precious time on mere busywork (like whiling away the hours online!).

    • I agree, Michelle. Earlier this week, I read about the “Stay Focused App” that clocks you out of a web site after a particular set period of time — I must admit I probably need this app, but I am a bit scared to install it… 🙂

  2. Many times I find myself saying, “Even so, come quickly.” But then I think of those who don’t yet know God and that urgency wraps around me. To me “redeeming the time” means using every opportunity to draw others to Christ.

  3. Dear Lyli
    This reminds me if something I read a while back. It says that we should work as if our Lord is coming in only a thousand years, but we should be ready as if He is coming back tonight!
    Blessings, dear friend.

  4. I’m particularly thinking about how I spend my time with my kids — do I place my “ministry” above them some of the time/most of the time/all of the time? It’s good to evaluate – are my priorities in line with God’s?

  5. Hi Lyli,
    What a great tie in to the verse…funny as I heard Eric Metaxas talking about how the American church needs to wake up…and then to read a similar message in your post…praying to truly be awake to what God is doing and to participate with Him…thanks for visiting 🙂

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