It was one of those chain e-mails, author unknown, that landed in my Inbox. Friends who forward them along know the kind of stuff they can send to me and this one was good!
It said: “To realize the value of one year, ask a student who has failed a final exam. To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby. To realize the value of one week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper. To realize the value of one hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet. To realize the value of one minute, ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane. To realize the value of one second, ask a person who has survived an accident. To realize the value of one millisecond, ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics. Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have. You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.”
There is a lot of truth in that poem. Though we may not think of it in those terms, time has value, a value that we should endeavour to use wisely. It does not mean that every waking minute must be spent immersed in activities, but we should have an awareness that time lost cannot be regained. Author Henry David Thoreau reminds us, “It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” For professing believers, we are to be good stewards of our time. In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul reminds them, “Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16, Amplified).
To live purposefully means that we live our lives fulfilling the purpose that God intended for us. We must resolve to use our time to achieve that goal. M. Scott Peck, noted psychiatrist and author, was right when he said, “Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” Paul encouraged the Ephesian church to “make the very most of the time because the days are evil.” How much more evil are the days now?
Let us not be like the man who said, “If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done!” Instead, let us our time wisely and effectively. God, our Heavenly Father, expects nothing less.