We’ve all heard the saying, “time is money.” Since most people in our present day culture value their time over their money, the saying rings truer now than ever before. We’ve become a nation that is willing to pay huge sums of money to make life easier, less hectic—trying desperately to save time. Who would have thought a century ago that restaurants would focus more on “fast food” than “good food”—and that it would sell! But that’s the fast-paced world we live in.
As I’ve looked ahead to this upcoming year I’ve thought about how well I’ve been spending my time. If my day was worth $100 (which I know is miniscule to many, but it makes for a simple metaphor of the brevity of each day), how much would I spend on selfish pursuits, or tasks that have no eternal value? Would I feel satisfied at the end of each day? Would I feel satisfied at the end of each week, month, or year?
If one daily activity takes up as much time as another or, for our purposes, costs the same amount of money, would I be spending each block of time wisely and responsibly? Many days I spend way too much time or money on surfing the internet, or watching television. I’m not saying those activities are wrong, but I know I spend too much time (money) on them. What if I’m spending fifty or more dollars on that and/or other meaningless pursuits in a day when I could be spending that time on more important matters? Does God ever look at me like He did the fool who buried his one talent and want to toss me out into the “darkness, where there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth”?* Okay, okay, I’m overstating the situation just a little. But the bottom line (and budgets always have “bottom lines”) is that I need to tighten my time budget.
Since I am in my forties, I find myself doing a lot of reflecting on my life. I want my life to matter. I want to fill my time with meaningful and eternal pursuits. So my New Year’s resolution includes cutting out some meaningless activities and adding some that I want to do but often forget or neglect to do. Specifically, here are some of my resolutions: I’m reading through the Bible in a year, I’m going to set aside at least an hour each day to write, I’m going to write some articles and try to get them published, I’m going to read several books that are waiting near my bedside right now, and I’m going to only watch television when I have a program that I’ve already preapproved (no more mindless television watching for me).
What about you? Do you want to start 2010 spending your time in better ways? Tell me about it and what you plan to include and what you plan to cut out in this New Year. I’m counting on you to help give me some ideas for budgeting and using my time better. And, if you share with me, certainly you’ll also help give time-wise ideas to those who read this blog! In fact, that just might be a good way to spend your time!
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15, 16 (NIV)