Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. [Romans 14:12 (NLT)]
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. [Ephesians 5:15-17 (NLT)]
Lately, we’ve heard several politicians talk about equalizing wealth. There is, however, one precious asset that is the same for both pauper and billionaire. It can’t be bought or sold nor can it be saved for a rainy day. Unlike money, once it is lost, it can never be regained. That asset, of course, is time and it is God’s gift to us. He’s given each of us a precise (but unknown) number of hours and they are not to be wasted. Any minute we don’t use is forfeited and never seen again.
As of today, we’ve had over 275 inches of snow in this mountain valley and dealing with all that snow uses several of those minutes each day. Every time we want to go anywhere, we have to allow an extra five to ten minutes to scrape the windshield and clean off the car. Snow can pile up, as evidenced by a car belonging to one of our neighbors. That snow makes for a whole lot of weight on one car’s roof and, as it compresses, it turns to ice. Maybe our neighbor plans on waiting until spring for the snow to melt. Spring, however, is a long ways away and, with an average snowfall of 352 inches, we can expect plenty more snow in the weeks to come. At this rate, chances are the car roof could collapse long before the crocuses peek through the snow.
When we don’t use our time wisely, things stack up just like the snow on that car. Life gets overwhelming when we put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today. Tomorrow comes, the task has grown, so we put it off for another day, and so it goes until life comes crashing in on us. We procrastinate for many reasons—exhaustion, fear, obsession with perfection, anger, indecision, lack of motivation, or simple laziness. Sometimes we even convince ourselves that we’re saving time by not doing something. Sure, the car’s owner hasn’t spent several minutes removing snow each morning but taking the bus around town takes much longer. If and when he tries to clean the car, it will take him hours to chip off the accumulated snow and ice. Moreover, if the roof collapses, he won’t have a car at all! Whatever the cause for our procrastination, the work we’re avoiding won’t disappear. In fact, in most cases, like the snow on the car, it will just pile higher and higher.
When we get diverted from the task at hand and waste God’s time, the enemy loves it. He’s provided us with all sorts of new ways to do it with binge watching on Netflix, computer games, email, Xboxes, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and the like. In fact, there are several websites that will link you to the best sites for wasting time! When I look at some of hyperlinks and humor emailed to me, I wonder if anybody still works. We each have been given the same twenty-four hours this day, how will we spend it? Paul tells us in Romans that we will be accountable to God for the way we have used his gifts and those hours are one of God’s most precious gifts to us.
Time is like manna from heaven. God provides exactly what we need for each day and, like manna, what isn’t used today is gone tomorrow. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we have been gifted with 1440 minutes today. Will we tend to the business of the day or will we let things pile up until some future date? God willing, we will be blessed with 24 more hours tomorrow but, then again, maybe we won’t.
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die leaving undone. [Pablo Picasso]
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. [Benjamin Franklin]