Waste Time (Don’t)
This devotional was written by Dan Johnson
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 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. James 4:13,14
I’ve heard that 9 billion human hours of solitaire were played in 2003. For perspective, the Empire State Building took 7 million human hours to build. The Panama Canal took 20 million human hours. Even though many people are extremely busy, they are –we are—often busy doing the wrong things; busy on the outside, bored on the inside.
If you’re like me, you understand wasting time. I’ve spent an hour or more looking for my keys…many times. I’ve spent hours on the Internet with no discernable endgame in mind. I waste time even though I know it’s limited. We don’t know how much of it we have. It makes sense to speak of “spending time,” since we can’t get it back. We live our lives against the backdrop of a ticking clock. We know the truth of the expression: “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” We’re even told that time is money.
The concept of time itself is really a function of memory. We divide time into periods that we call past, present and future, but when we think of the present, it is already part of the past. The only present that exists is now. But now is already “then” as soon as I think about it. Time is a succession of thoughts, based on memory. According to Wikipedia, it’s a basic component of the measuring system used to sequence events … the durations of events and the intervals between them…
According to Scripture, we can redeem the time. We can get more of it by using what we’ve got wisely. We can’t put off for tomorrow what we must do today. Tomorrow is an illusion. It won’t be what we imagined. The only moment we can grasp is the one that just happened.
Today, instead of thinking about time wasted, think of it this way: Time is the interval between where you are and where you want to be. If you invest time in spiritual growth, you get character. Focus on worthwhile pursuits and you’ll get competence. Look around at the eternally significant people and opportunities you have in your lives. Instead of asking why you wasted time on this or that, think about what you could have tomorrow if instead of “spending” time today you choose to “invest” it.
- What are some top things (people) I need to make time for?
- How would I benefit from spending less time in certain areas?
Ephesians 5:15,16; Psalm 90:12
Dan Johnson is the Lead Pastor of Next Church in Tacoma, Washington and CEO of the Next Leadership Association.