I know most people have heard the phrase, “So much to do, so little time.” I know this has been the case for me, more so just in these past couple of days, as those around me have become more “time-conscious.” One of my friends reminded me that Jesus is coming soon (though we don’t know the day or the hour). My parents let me know last night that our days in this place may be numbered. So many U.S government employees are wondering how much their savings will last until the shutdown is finally over (which I hope, for their sake, is very soon!). As my pastor has said repeatedly, “Time is life.”
Time is life.
That alone should point to the importance of how we spend our time, and help us not to waste so much time, me included.
Other reasons why time is so important are implied in these facts:
- Time is limited.
- You can never get the time you lost back.
- Time is valuable.
Yes, we live longer than we have, let’s say 100 years ago. Even so, we will all eventually die and face our eternal destiny. Time is limited.
Sadly enough, we all have been guilty of wasting time, at one point of our lives or another. I know I am not immune to this. I have wasted too much time being bitter about people that either didn’t mean to do me harm, or didn’t care that they harmed me. I should have just forgiven them and moved on in my life, instead of brooding about what they did and how much they had hurt me. I have also wasted too much of my life wallowing in self-pity, anger and despair.
Maybe you have had similar stories of time wasted.
Maybe instead of appreciating your spouse (if you are or were married), you catered to your own selfishness and self-indulgence, until it was too or almost too late to save your marriage. Maybe instead of caring for that relative or friend, you brushed them aside in their time of need because you were too busy to attend to them. Maybe you have wasted time doing other things that were just not that important, and neglected the things that should have been most important.
I think the reason we sometimes waste time is that we are not conscious of time. We perceive we have more time than there actually is. Some people don’t anticipate change—or that time will move on without them. Moreover, we think we can make up for lost time, only to discover it was too late!
So, how do we redeem the time (i.e.. not waste time)?
First, we have to be time-conscious. Most people are more time-conscious when they know their time is limited, such as when a loved one dies or when they attend a funeral. However, we don’t have to wait for death to knock at our door in order to be time-conscious.
Lose the attitude that you have all this time in the world! Strive not to procrastinate! Do what you can today, and strive to live each day as it was your last. Some people go to work, or even approach life, as if it were drudgery that will last forever, doing nothing to change their attitudes or their circumstances. I am not talking about people suffering from depression or who have already done what they could and are still miserable. I’m just talking about those that are determined to stay miserable no matter what. Know that time is fleeting. If you are having a tough time now, there is hope because this will eventually pass. If you are content with your life now, be thankful for all that you have been blessed with.
Secondly, we have to determine what is important to us. In order to not waste time, we need to prioritize what is most important to us. We need to ask ourselves what we value the most, whether it be God, our family, our friends, or other priorities. Then, we need to spend the most time on those things we value most.
For instance, I value God, family, and friends, in that order. If I want to redeem my time that I have in life, I will focus on the interests that matter in my relationship to God, my family, and friends. I would not waste time wallowing in self-pity or being idle in regards to these priorities.
Also, we need to be sure that what we value will last through eternity, and not put so much emphasis on those things that are fleeting. For example, if a manager or co-worker at your job has a bad day and gets snippy at you, don’t become bitter and angry for more than a day with them and let that destroy your relationship with them, if you value relationships as eternal. Instead chalk it up to them having a bad day, and forgive them for their frustration at you.
Since our time is limited, valuable, and can never be regained, we should be sure not to waste time. In order to do that, we need to prioritize what is most important to us and be sure we are conscious of the scarcity of our time here on earth, valuing each day as if it were our last.
Let’s redeem our time today, and do positively in the days we have left on earth!