We all like to think we will live forever or that our end will never come. Somehow we like to make ourselves believe that modern science will one day find the cure for death. We must believe this because each of us keeps wasting our valuable time here on earth do everything but serving the Lord. We complain that we have to give the Lord 3 to 4 hours of study and worship time, yet we never complain about the time we spend watching a movie, or T.V. show, or sporting event.
In life, we’ve all been given exactly the same amount of time for each day we exist. Each of us has 24 hours in a day. That translates into 1440 minutes. How are we using those minutes?
Think about some of the ways we spend our time, and try to prioritize these to see which are more important than others. Obviously, we need sleep. Go ahead and mark off 480 minutes if you’re lucky enough to get 8 hours of sleep. We also need to eat. If we allow 30 minutes for each meal, that’s another 90 minutes. Assuming you work outside the home, you’re probably working about 8 hours a day. That’s another 480 minutes. Throw in a 30-minute commute to and from work for a total of 60 minutes. We’re down to 330 minutes or 5 and one-half hours. Not much left. How we spend these remaining minutes will have a great impact on how good of a steward we are of the time God has given us.
Many people will spend their remaining time with entertainment, such as TV. Time spent watching TV can easily eat up 60-120 minutes each evening. Most of us have computers and spend time surfing the internet, on Facebook, or on reading and sending emails. If you spend 60 minutes each evening on a computer-related activity, you’re down to 150 minutes.
Some of you are in school, so time will be spent studying and doing homework. Parents with kids in school will inevitably spend time helping them with their schoolwork. If your children are involved in extracurricular activities such as scouts, band, or sports, those take time too. Maybe you get together with some friends on a Friday or Saturday night. As you can see, our few remaining minutes at the end of the day are quickly erased by the various activities we find ourselves involved in, and it’s time for bed again.
There is nothing inherently wrong with any of the ways that we are spending the 1440 minutes we’ve been given, but not all of them are as profitable as others. Also, every one of those time-spending activities can be abused.
We can be lazy and sleep too much, leaving little time for more important endeavors. “A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler and your need like an armed man.” (Prov. 24:33-34)
We can spend too much time at work and shirk our first priority – the family. If the reason we give is money related, we’re not trusting in the Lord. “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:31-33)
Rest and relaxation and entertainment are good and necessary from time to time, but are we filling our minds with worldliness, sin, and filth of every kind? Even if what we’re viewing is “clean”, we should still ask the question, “Is my time better spent doing something else?”
Have we made the time to read our Bibles for the day? Have we done more than reading – have we studied and meditated on His Word? “I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.” (Ps. 119:147-148) Have we prepared for the upcoming Sunday or mid-week Bible class? Have we spent time sharing the good news of salvation through Jesus with a friend? Have we talked to God through prayer? More than just the quick prayer before our meals?
Remember, life is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then disappears (Jam 4:14). Each of us needs to examine how we spend our 1440 minutes each day. I believe we all can probably do a better job of prioritizing our time. Too much of it is spent on things that don’t really matter, and too much of it is spent on things that actually hinder our faith and growth as a Christian. Let’s make sure we’re putting God and family first in our lives and preparing for our life to come. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:16)