Yesterday we had a snow day at work. A rarity in Georgia. The frozen white flurries brought to my mind memories of cold winter mornings when I used to lie awake in bed waiting for the sound of my mother's voice, "Kid's, school's closed. Snow day." Yes!
For the kids in my hometown, a snow day meant hours of sledding, snowball fights, and unlimited outdoor fun. But as I grew older, the activities of snow day gradually worked their way indoors. When I was in college, our university once was buried for three days beneath a monumental winter blizzard. Most of the people I knew used the time off to watch television and lie around the dormitory. I was no exception.
Somehow the grandeur of a free day had lost its allure. We lapsed lazily into a marathon of listless inactivity, snacking on junk food, and flipping aimlessly through television channels. What had become of the cherished opportunity that lay in a "free day?"
Because college students are so used to living within the structure of a rigorous schedule, free time can easily be squandered away without anyone realizing it has come and gone.
What's an hour spent in a dentist's office? Time to idly flip through sports and entertainment magazines.
What are a few hours left over at the end of the day? Time to surf through television channels.
What's a cancelled class? A chance to log on to the Internet and visit trivial chat rooms.
What's a Saturday morning? A chance to sleep in.
Don't get me wrong. I am not alleging that all young people are lazy. Quite the contrary. I am well aware of how demanding a full course load in college can be. At the same time, I now wonder, with a not-so-subtle longing, what happened to all those wonderful, magnificent hours that God gave me?
How I can identify with William Shakespeare when he said, "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me." Why did I not spend it more wisely? What if I could suddenly get those hours back and reuse them for better purposes?
Ah, if only.
But, time is a diminishing commodity.
Unlike money, which can be placed in a bank for safekeeping and later accessed, time disappears completely the minute you get it. A minute is gone in 60 seconds and you are left only with memories of how it was spent. If you wish to make an investment of the time you now have, you'd better spend it wisely. Wouldn't you agree?
The Bible tells us of the brevity of time: "Remember that my life is but breath" (Job 7:7). "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away" (James 4:14). Yet, the apostle Paul exhorts Christians to embrace every moment, judiciously making the most of each opportunity life gives them. "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16).
The beautiful thing about time, however, is that, for the present moment, you have exactly what you have always had--24 hours a day. It has been said that time is the great equalizer. C. S. Lewis once said, "The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is."
It is never too late to take charge of those myriad minutes that fall by the wayside of every day and invest them in ways that will last forever.
So many of us complain about not having enough time, but it seems to me that we do not have a time shortage problem, we have a time management problem.
I'm not suggesting we adopt a stringent time management program that will leave us feeling guilty and exasperated. What I'm talking about is seizing the millions of moments that go unaccounted for every day. Making the most of every moment is simple. Use the time you spend battling traffic jams to work on memorizing important passages of Scripture. Take your Bible with you to your next doctor's appointment so you can read something edifying while you wait. When there is a lapse in your schedule, pray and share your thoughts with the Lord.
When we spend our time on God's time clock, there seem to be more hours in the day. Perhaps that's because God promises us eternal rewards for managing our time wisely. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33).
© January IN TOUCH magazine
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