a bit monkish.
Recently, after a long day, I fell into my recliner and began to channel surf. I remember thinking how amazing it was that I had more than 100 channels to find a show worth watching – and then I couldn’t find a single show worth watching. I continued to scroll through the channels until I finally gave up and turned off the TV. I hadn’t watched a single show, yet I’d wasted 30 minutes of my evening trying to find one.
We live in a diverse world, yet one thing everyone has in common is that we all have the same amount of time. No matter where we live, what language we speak, or what we do for a living, our watches and clocks tick at the same rate. Yet what makes time different for each one of us is what we decide to do with it. Imagine if we had a daily limited of the amount of air we breathe or the number of words we could say. We’d probably be careful with our breathing and speaking, not wanting to waste a single breath or word. In our short lives on earth, our time is limited, and we only have so much time to accomplish great things for God.
In 12th-century France, a young nobleman decided to give his life to Christ by surrendering his title and heritage and entering a monastery as a monk. The abbot of the monastery congratulated him and awaited the young man’s arrival. After several months, the young nobleman never came. The abbot wrote him letter after letter, imploring him to forsake the world and fulfill his promise to God. A few months later, the abbot received word that the young nobleman had become sick and died, his promise to God unfulfilled. The abbot would go on to use this young man’s example when corresponding with other young noblemen who felt a similar call from God to enter a life of ministry.
As we being 2016, how do you use your time? Each one of us is a steward of the time God has entrusted to us. We can use time for ourselves or for God. We need to remember that self-centeredness, even in how we use our time, only leads us away from God, not closer to God.
Serving God with our time is never a waste. It brings us blessings and joys as we serve others. How are we going to use our time this week? Will we spend our time scanning through TV channels or will we serve God? The next time you see your remote control lying there waiting for you to pick it up, you might want to look at it a little differently than you did before.
Fugit inreparabile tempus ("It escapes, irretrievable time.")
-- Virgil, "Georgics," Book III
(c) 2016 Michael C. Voigts
I'm a follower of Christ serving as an Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation at Asbury Theological Seminary.