As I get older I begin to understand how to apply the things I have often been made aware of in life and recently I truly began to understand what it means to waste time. When we are but adolescent teenagers and young adults, we do not mind wasting time because we believe we have years ahead of us. But then about halfway through our lives, we realize that we have more years behind us than we do in front of us. This is when we begin to reevaluate how we are spending our time. This often leads to what people call a midlife crisis, when we begin to wonder, “Have I wasted all of my good years? Should I make some major changes in my life?” Then one day when we are nearing the end of our lives, we look back and say, “Where did all the time go, how did it all go by so quickly?”
In his book “When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough,” Rabbi Kushner said that when you buy a brand-new jar of instant coffee, you tear off the seal and everything smells great. When that jar is fresh and new, you tend to be very generous in the portions you dispense. After all, you have an entire jar full of coffee. Why not be generous? But when you get about halfway through the jar, you become a bit more conservative in the amount of coffee you are using. And by the time you get to the bottom of the jar, you are searching around for every coffee ground you can find in that jar. Life seems to be a lot like that coffee jar.
Moses wrote Psalm 90 in the latter years of his life and when you read it, you realize that Moses was an early adopter of the instant coffee theory of life. As he wrote he was coming to the end of his life, and he realized how valuable the gift of time is. In this Psalm, Moses shared important insights about this valuable commodity that we often squander called time.
In Psalm 90:1-6, Moses talked about the brevity of life. This is a constant theme that appears throughout Scriptures like a flashing beacon: how short our time on earth really is. In Psalm 89:47, the psalmist said, “Remember what my span of life is; for what vanity You have created all the sons of men!” Then in Psalm 90, Moses picked up on that theme. He described how transitory our lives are by comparing them to the eternality of God. He said, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (90:1). God has no beginning. He has no end. He is eternal. “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night” (90:4).
But unlike God, man is not eternal we are all prisoners of our most precious resource time, man has a beginning. We didn’t always exist. There was a moment in time when we came into existence. There was a beginning of your life. There is a middle of your life. And as far as life on this earth goes, there will be an end to your life. In fact, James the brother of Jesus said this in James 4:14 ” Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” A Mist!
Most things in the world when wasted can be recovered or replaced but time spent be it wasted our otherwise is gone forever – invest your time wisely.