Don't waste your time! l Worship

By Mark Smith, Mukilteo Presbyterian | Jul 24, 2019

Billy Graham, who died at the ripe old age of 99, was once asked in his later years what surprised him the most about life: “To me,”# he said, #“the greatest surprise is just how short life really is."

Life really is short – we may be given 75 or 80 years if we are fortunate, or 90 years if we are strong, and then as the Bible says "we fly away. We flourish for a while, as a flower in the springtime, but then we wither and are gone.”

The brevity of life is a common theme in the scriptures: “What is your life?” asks James, “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes…” [James 4:14]. You have made my days a mere handbreath,” says David, “The span of my years is as nothing before you. Each person’s life is but a breath.” (Psalm 39:5).

Time is one of God’s most precious gifts, it is also one of the most perishable; we only have so much of it. Each new day bring us 24 hours, 1,440 minutes and 86,000 seconds.

And once it passes there is no way to get that time back. And yet we squander so much of it, thinking we have forever. What a shame to let such a precious gift go, especially if there was an opportunity to shed a little more light, a little more love in a dark, love-starved world.

God calls us to be good stewards of the time he has given us.

To that end, we may well have to say goodbye to some of the countless non-essentials that keep us running in circles so that we can have time to give to those who need us and to do those things that truly matter.

Our lives can stand some pruning back.  When you come right down to it, we have to get rid of the things that are just wasting our time.

No doubt one of the biggest time wasters is the amount of time we spend on our smartphone and browsing social media. If we are to do a little pruning, it seems to me that would be one great place to start.

Wise people are those who think carefully about how to live their lives. They regularly set aside time evaluate their activities, and establish their priorities. There is a sense of urgency about their living, for they know they don't have forever.

Someone has said: "Time is the clay of your life.  You can let daily routines, other people’s demands, and poor judgment form a committee to make a camel out of your clay, or you can take charge of our raw material, your time, and build a horse on which to ride off into the kind of life you've always wanted."

In order to take charge of our time, a useful exercise would be to sit down periodically and ask ourselves: What is God calling me to do and be?  What are the main goals of my life and how am I accomplishing them? What are the time-wasters in my life? What can I do without? What hinders me from achieving my goals? What can I prune away so that I'll have more time for people?

Life is too short. We have only one shot at it and then it is gone. Make it count!

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