“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”–C. S. Lewis.
I think I was about ten years old when I first saw The Terminator. I live out in the country and don’t have access to whatever movies or shows were popular then. My grandmother would bring home a stack of VHS rentals to keep me entertained. She did not know what the videos were about most of the time, but figured guns and robots were ideal for a young boy. I had no clue what I was watching. This amazing and terrifying story of an apocalyptic future ruled by time-traveling robots unfolded into new areas of my brain. After that, it hooked me on the concept of time travel. As an adult, I still love the idea, overused as it may be; it opens the door to nearly unlimited and shifting storylines. Lately, however, what has caught my attention about the concept is just how different it is from the reality in which we live.
We Are Finite
Ecclesiastes 3:1: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
One of the fantastic things about the concept of time travel is that all time is available to us. Want to go back in time and chew out your boss and then go forward in time to see what the consequences are? Not a problem. I wish you knew how life would have turned out if you had stayed with your high school or college sweetheart. Easy. I wish you had spent more time with your kids. Please press the button, and it’s done. Now contrast this with how time works.
You and I have this very moment, and then it’s gone. That’s it. We have no control over the past and very little control over the future. We are bound to bodies and a world that is diminishing. As humans and men, we have always placed value in rare things, yet in the last few generations, we have a frivolous view of our brief and allotted time.
A Man Values His Time
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”–Ben Franklin.
The value of our time equates to the value we place in our lives; the two are tied together. Yet, our world of ease often leads to wasting time. We have unknowingly adopted the aristocratic Victorian view of happiness. That they derive it from fleeting pleasures and comfort. However, as men, we were made to work and grow, and the purposeful investment of our time strongly correlates to our quality of life.
Psalm 90:12: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
Whenever I think about this topic, my mind goes to the countless hours spent on social media. The weeks I have lived in front of the television, being entertained by the fictional lives of others. Someone once said, “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time,” though I don’t believe I agree with that statement. Of course, there is a prudent use of our time, which includes taking it easy, but I have found that unscheduled time is more often squandered than not.
Embracing the Value of Time
Much of our wasted moments stem from the belief that we (and thus our time) are not that valuable. We cannot make a difference in our small window of time with our small sphere of influence. We are making a difference, regardless. To bring it back around, each of us experiences a constant butterfly effect — geeks, you know what I’m talking about! Everything we do matters. A frivolous view of time steals from our legacy and robs us of the manful life we are called to live. Though our names may never make it into a history book, generations to follow will be moved by our actions.
- Do you think you waste time in areas of your life?
- Does it glorify God?
- Does the Kingdom grow?
Sometimes we need to unplug and refuel, and then sometimes we need to be about the Father’s business. Pray for wisdom to know the difference.