Vimy ridge – 9 April, 1917

“On the 9th of April, 1917, at precisely 05:30, 30,000 Canadian troops attacked the infamous Vimy Ridge in France. Prior to that Easter morning, 150,000 French, 50, 000 British and numerous more allied soldiers had lost their lives. Over a three-year period they tried, on many occasions, to take the ridge. The Canadians walked, in a well timed pace, slowly towards the enemy trenches, while in front of them artillery rained down.


The Canadian plan of attack was to drop a curtain of artillery and have it creep forward towards the enemy trenches, while at the same time soldiers would walk yards behind it.  This well rehearsed strategy relied on everyonerespecting the precise timing that needed to be followed. Ignore the timing and move too quickly, could see the soldiers get swallowed up and become casualties of their own well-timed plan.

At 06:05 hours, the Canadians captured the ridge losing 3598 men. In Canadian history, these 35 minutes took Canada out of the shadow of the other world powers and placed them into the limelight; into a brighter future. That time on the ridge affected the way generation of Canadian military approached time management.

The Military do like to plan and eventually start to look at everything as a function of time. From the Army’s perspective, manipulating events around timelines defined the military and so, controlling time became entrenched in the Canadian military way of thinking. The problem with thinking that we can control time is, we get into a habit of thinking we will always have more. We do not use our days wisely because we think we have tomorrow. We make choices such as watching a sporting event instead of reading our bible or praying because we think we can do those things tomorrow. We don’t spent time with our family because we think we have tomorrow. We try to remain part of the world and enjoy it as long as we can because we think we join God’s world tomorrow. We put off giving all to Christ today because, we think we can keep some control now and give the rest tomorrow. Many put of repenting and accepting the Lord today because they think they will have more tomorrows to change. James 4:14 says “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”.

Psalm 90 is about time, and more importantly, it is about what we need to do with our time. In the Psalm we are reminded of God’s eternal existence and our seemingly insignificant blip on His timeline. No time management course will change the reality expressed in verse 2 “Before the mountains were born, or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God”. The message is clear that our time, in relation to God’s is short. Verse 12 guides us to ask the master of time, the eternal God, to teach us to better use our time for understanding the wisdom that comes from Him. He gave us His word, which helps us understand Him and how He expects us to spend our time.

We can’t control time or manage it because we don’t know how much time we have left. When we get focused on our future and not on God, we miss out on the time we have. Before time runs out, we need to get focused on what matters and pray “So teach us O God to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12.