Do you remember the song by The Rolling Stones with the lyrics, “Time is on your side. Yes it is”?
It really isn’t. Time really isn’t on your side. The clock is far more of an adversary than an advantage. Moments, minutes and hours are some of our most valuable possessions, but if we are not careful, they slip away. Time is wasted. And once it is gone, it is gone. Period.
An article I read this week about Tiger Woods got me thinking about this precious commodity we call “time.” This is how the article began:
“Nobody really knew what Tiger Woods was going to talk about at his press conference on Tuesday promoting the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Probably some cliched quips about getting his feels back and getting ready for the Masters in April.
Instead, we got the saddest version of Woods we’ve ever seen.
He talked about there being ‘no timetable’ for a return. He talked about how his exercise these days is just walking. He talked about how he plays video games just to pass the time” (see link below).
Of course, you see what stood out to me. “He plays video games just to pass the time.”
Several weeks ago, I took my (then) twelve-year-old son out for dinner. Believe me when I state that all he wanted to talk about was the game Minecraft. I asked a couple of questions while also attempting unsuccessfully to steer the conversation to more serious matters. But kids–most of them at least–love to play.
However, I have issues with grown men playing video games. Personally, I don’t find it very manly. It grieves me to think of any man residing in our needy world wasting hours playing games when they could, instead, look for ways to make a difference in the lives of others. Apparently, Tiger struggles in this area. But many regulars “Joes” do as well. In fact, there are possibly over one million 20-to-30-something-year-olds still sleeping in their high school bedrooms while their parents go to work each day.
As 2015 draws to its conclusion and as we will soon find ourselves on the verge of yet another year, we should examine how we have spent our time over the past twelve months or so and what our plan is for the next calendar year. How have we spent our time? How will we spend our time?
A few years ago, I read a very helpful sermon on this important subject by Jonathan Edwards—a man who was very serious about his use of time. Consider these thoughts:
We ought to esteem time as very precious because we are uncertain of its continuance.
Time is very precious because when it has passed it cannot be recovered.
How much may be done in a year! How much good is there opportunity to do in such a space of time! How much service may persons do for God, and how much for their own souls, if to their utmost they redeem the time!
Would you not behave other than you do if you considered with yourselves every morning that you must give an account to God how you spent that day?
Consider how much time you have lost already. For your having lost so much, you have the greater need of diligently improving what yet remains.
Improve the present time without any delay. If you delay and put off its improvement, still more time will be lost; and it will be an evidence that you are not sensible of its preciousness.
Good stuff, eh?! Perhaps God is leading us to a time of repentance for how we used much of our time in 2015. Perhaps the Lord is moving us to make some changes so that we are much more effective at redeeming the time in the coming year. There is much to do! If we passionately pursue Him and serve others, it’s almost guaranteed that our entertainment hours will decrease rather than increase. Now there’s a tangible resolution!
PS—In the text Pressing Into The Kingdom: Jonathan Edwards on Seeking Salvation (Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1998), the sermon quoted above, The Preciousness of Time, is followed by one entitled Procrastination.
Should you be interested in the entire article on Tiger Woods’ situation, see: