On Friday, August 21, 2015, the headlines read “Dow plunges 500 points” and after a very brief bounce back once again the Headlines read, “The Dow plunges nearly 470 points, as concerns about the Federal Reserve weighed heavily on investor sentiment”. If you were a long-term investor, you would not worry as much as the investor who was thinking of retiring soon. Even as you read this post one of your most precious commodities is quietly slipping away, an asset equally shared by all irrespective of how rich or poor a person is, we all begin and possess the same amount of this invaluable commodity and in any given day billionaires and paupers alike will lose it all.
There are many inequities in the world, but one thing we all have in common is the same amount of time each day. The product of time is strange in that we cannot save it, retrieve it, relive it, stretch it, borrow it, loan it, stop it or store it, but can lose it. We cannot call time out in the game of life. The truth is, time is our most precious asset, sadly, much of the limited time we have is squandered on the meaningless things in life. The Apostle Paul warned, “Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16).
Those who say ‘time is money’ are right to some extent; time itself is far more valuable than money, fame, possessions, or anything we could imagine in this life. You can always get more money, but there is no way to gain extra time; you can only extend the experience and perception of it. Value itself can be measured in time; you may be able to buy an individual’s time for the use of their talents, however in doing so you are not saving any of your own time, nor do you add any additional time to your own life. Time is probably the most important real or abstract resource there is. It is certainly worthwhile if you are able to slow time down figuratively speaking and get the most out of each moment. However, ‘as the saying goes “The days drag on, yet the years fly by,” so true. Our time is precious, and it is especially problematic because while time itself is a constant, it is the perception in our minds that is continuously in flux, the older I get the faster time seems to go.
In James, 4:14 we find these words “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”. Do you ever find yourself stunned by the circumstances of life? There always seems as if there is so much to do; yet so little time to do it. People spend a great deal of time simply thinking about ways, they can change their lives, and how “next year of my life” will be better but for most this is not true, and so it becomes an unfortunate squandering of time. The problem we each face in our society today is not the amount of time a sovereign God has allotted to us, but our view of time and life itself, and how we invest the time we have.
To some time is irrelevant, depending on what philosophical approach to life they chose to subscribe. To the innovative visionary who seeks to affect, sculpt or shape the world, leaving their footprint in the sands of history, TIME means EVERYTHING! Why? Although it is easy to argue that life takes place in the ever-progressing present moment, Rome was not built in a day.
Nevertheless, if we are not careful, we can fall into the mindset which sees time strictly from our own utilitarian standpoint where performance and accomplishments or always doing something we consider productive is the all-important goal. When this happens, we lose the capacity to simply enjoy God. In the book of Luke 10:38–42 Mary chose to invest her time in sitting and listening to Jesus, enjoying God, while her sister Martha was distracted by life and all the things to be prepared choosing to invest her time in all the work she felt was needed in that moment. Where you chose to invest your time shows where your heart is (Matthew 6:21). Matters that are important in life will receive proper attention only when we learn how to invest our time wisely. This should be one of our most treasured goals in life, and we should all first be using our time to comprehend and grasp the concept.