On Time

Well, another long week has passed and I can’t believe I’m back to day one. Sunday, the first day of the week. The first week of the month. I woke up this morning thinking, “How could this possible be July already? What happened to June?”

It feels like, in our family at least, we tend to rush, rush, rush the summer away. We have VBS, summer field trips, playdates, pool days, weekend vacations… Before you know it, you wake up and realize that it’s the end of August, and it’s time to start school again. This sobering reality has caused me to think a good deal today on the most precious commodity I possess right now: Time.

I found an old document on my computer that I had read several years ago and forgotten about. It was a sermon written by Jonathan Edwards in 1734 entitled, “The Preciousness of Time and the Importance of Redeeming It”. One interesting point that Edwards brings up in the sermon is the rarity and valuableness of time.

“Time is very short,” Edwards writes, “which is another thing that renders it very precious. The scarcity of any commodity occasions men to set a higher value upon it, especially if it be necessary and they cannot do without it.”

This caused me to stop and think. Could it be that, right now, in my life, time is a more valuable commodity than money, or other earthly possessions? Money, once lost, can be bought back again. It may take a while, and a good amount of energy, but there is almost always money and other possessions to go around. Time, on the other hand, is something that you will never get back. All of the precious, valuable time that I waste frittering away on unimportant things can never be paid back to me.

Once I realized this, I began dividing my time in my head just like the way I would my money. It’s easy to budget and save my finances. Putting aside this much for clothes and this for books and this for church. But it’s actually a lot harder to divide up my time. Time for family, time for friends, time for fellowship with God. A time for learning and a time for teaching. Times for giving, sharing, and receiving. In my life, and in everyone else’s, there’s just not enough time for everything. So why do I waste so much of it?

If there’s one thing my mom taught me growing up, it’s never to waste money. A bouncy ball from the vending machine was a waste of money; so was an expensive skirt I’d never wear. Save up your money for the important things—the stuff that you will use and reuse in the future. It’s the same thing with time. There’s not that much of it. So don’t spend it on silly, insipid things that will only bring pleasure for a short amount of time. Save it up for what really matters.

I keep thinking about the lyrics from my favorite Steve Miller Band song: “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping… into the future.” It is slipping. It’s slipping as much for me at fifteen, as it is for a grandpa in his seventies. We are only given so much. Don’t waste it. Forget about video games and shopping and all those fun things that are really not a good investment in your time. Do something productive. Spend your time doing something rewarding.

One day, when I am a very old lady, I hope that it will not matter to me how much money or possessions I own. Instead, I want to look back over my life, and realize that I made the right investments, not based on riches, but on time. I want to look back and realize that I amassed a fortune of memories and accomplishments because of my wise use of time. It may take me many, many years to become someone who uses her time wisely, but I pray that God will help me. Time is a precious commodity that is always slipping away, and I want to use it preparing for my future in heaven, not my pastimes on earth.



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