Redeem the Time

“The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away…. So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:10-12)
Are you ready to get a new perspective on life? Let’s try something fun with numbers. This little exercise has opened up my mind to see the wisdom in the verses above, and the wisdom that comes from literally counting our days.  Suppose you live to the ripe old age of 75 years before the Lord takes you home to glory. 75 years is equivalent to 900 months, 3900 weeks, 27,375 days, 657,000 hours, 39,420,000 minutes, or 2,365,200,000 seconds. By looking at the smaller increments of time, you might feel like a rich man with money to blow and no need for urgency in your steps. The larger the time increment, the less it seems we have. I believe that if you live your life with eternity in mind, you’ll live with a greater sense of urgency than if you tend to only think about the present. May God open our eyes to the eternal value of every moment we have here on Earth.

Can I Get a Guarantee With This?

Let’s continue. How many years have you been alive? How many months, weeks, and days does that equate to? Please do this little exercise and write the numbers down before continuing. Now try to think about all that you have experienced with those number of months that God has given you. How far along are you in what you aim to accomplish in this life? Now please take 75 years and subtract the number of your age. Of course you may live much longer than 75 years, and then again the Lord might take you home before the day is through. We are not guaranteed a single day. And once it is gone, you can never get it back.  It runs along without waiting for your command. If you live another 35 years on this planet, that’s only 420 months! Not much is it. And you’re not even guaranteed that much!

The Heart of a Steward

The real question is- what are you doing with the time that you’ve been given? Are you stewarding it well? Seeking to invest it in things that are worthwhile? Things that are productive? life-giving, and eternal? Or are you squandering it on your entertainments… throwing it away because it’s not really worth all that much to you? Do you value it… or take it for granted? Do you have a war-time mentality, or a peace-time mentality? Do you feel like you’ve got time to spare, or that there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish what you’d like to do? Or maybe you’ve mentally, physically, and spiritually stretched yourself out so thin, due to your schedule choices, that you feel like you deserve to squander the remaining time of each day on frivolous things? Maybe you hate your job, and it wears you out, and you feel like you’ve earned a break from responsibility for the remainder of the evening. Perhaps you know your family and others are waiting for you to invest your time with them, but you’re just too tired, too afraid, unwilling, or not sure how to roll of that couch. You would rather let time flow along as usual, and take a more passive approach to life- just take it as it comes.

Just 15 Minutes a Day

Let’s look at this from another angle. Suppose you have a hobby, or habit that consumes a mere 15 minutes of each day. It may be shaving, watching or reading the news, reading the Bible, reading a book to your children, or taking your dog for walk. Now take that 15 minutes, multiply it by 30 days a month, and you’re looking at 450 minutes, or 7.5 hours. Multiply 15 minutes by 365 days a year, and you’ve got 5,475 minutes, or 91 hrs. Assume you’re awake 16 hours a day, leaving you a healthy 8hrs per day for sleep. That 91 hours a year of X-activity adds up to 5.7 days a year! Now if that hobby/habit is 20 mins a day, it’s 8 days a year, 30 mins equals 12 days a year, and 1 hr equals 24 days per year! 1hr 15 mins per day will add up to 1 month per year! Now here’s the mind blowing part… If you lived to be 75 years old, and averaged just 15 mins per day doing ANYTHING at all, that will equal 1.17 years out of your 75 year life! If you only had 75 dollars for your whole life, would it be worth it to spend a buck twenty-five on playing video games? What about reading to your children?  Or reading the Bible? Obviously there are activities related to personal hygiene and other daily necessities that you just can’t do without. The real question is what you do with your remaining time, the free-time you’ve got after work, on the weekends, when nothing is required of you.

Not Every Man Truly Lives

Over the course of my life, I have personally wasted roughly 3-4 years on TV and video games. What seemed like just a few hours a day, totaled up to years of my life…Gone!  Forever! I write this article, not that you might feel pity for my poor choices, or even to cast a shadow of guilt on you for the choices you’ve made. I write this in the hope that it be a wake up call for all of us. Time is so valuable, and yet so easily wasted. It is a rare and precious gift from God. And He wants us to redeem the days, and use them wisely. One of my favorite phrases of all times is in the movie Braveheart, where William Wallace is chained to the prison wall, and when asked if he would swear allegiance to the king, and possibly save his own life, he gives the manly answer, “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” Isn’t that so true? Read it again, and let it sink in deep. Are we really living?

Awake, You Who Sleep

May God help us to really live our life to its fullest, before it slips away. We are not guaranteed tomorrow- “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—  yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:13-14) May we redeem the time by living and dying for things with eternal value. May we, Christian brothers and sisters, awake from the spell that the world so often casts upon us, and get busy doing the right things. “Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” Walk in Wisdom. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:14-17)

There is Work to Be Done

Now it’s time to run the race, and join the battle. Start today. Satan would have you wallow in the guilt of years wasted, and stay where you are. God would have you rise up now, from where you are, and join in the fight. There’s much work to be done.  And if you don’t know how to make the needed changes to live a life that means something, seek the answers through the scripture and through prayer. Learn to prioritize those things that are most important, and then do those things first. And do them with all your might. If you’re for Christ, then you’re already on the side that wins. Rise up, oh men of God. Remember, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.(Romans 8:28) Thank God for his love and mercy that are new every morning. He has truly redeemed us. Now may we redeem our time- For the sake of His glory, our good, and the benefit of those around us.

Photo credit: János Balázs / Foter / CC BY-SA

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