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Monday, January 17, 2011

Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, yet the youngest you’ll ever be, so enjoy this day while it lasts

I just celebrated (?) my 70th birthday so our subject under consideration today relates to it and also relates to a commodity that all of us reading this editorial have in our possession at the present "time." See, that's my effort at a clever play on words because our subject, the commodity of which I speak is - "time."

Besides the above quotation, several things have conspired to gear my thoughts up for this lesson and I'll try to relate them to you in an understandable manner. One of those things, strangely enough, is a couple of sundials. One of them is the Kentucky Vietnam Memorial and is one of the most interesting and extraordinary things I've ever seen. It's located in Frankfort, Ky. and if you have internet availability I encourage you to take a look at it at It is truly a remarkable structure.

The other sundial I haven't seen, only read about and what interested me about it was the inscription on it. It's a poem that fits well with a couple of passages in the New Testament that we're all familiar with: Mt. 6:34 and James 4:14. Read with me this inscription and see if you don't agree. "The shadow of my finger cast, divides the future from the past; Before it sleeps the unborn hour, in darkness, and beyond thy power; Behind its unreturning line, the vanished hour, no longer thine; One hour alone is in thy hands - the NOW on which the shadow stands."

Okay, now let me mention something else that entered into the conspiracy to bring about this lesson and it is a common exclamation that we hear all the time. The exclamation: "IT'S ABOUT TIME!" I'm going to adopt that phrase as the title to our lesson here and then run a few spiritual thoughts off of it.

Have you ever thought about what a wonderful gift our God gives us in this commodity of time? I say that it's a gift from God because time does not relate to God, only to man. To life on this earth. Now we don't all have the same amount of total time, but we all share equally in the minutes and hours the day allots. No one has more or less than others. What I'd like you to consider about the commodity of time is how much of a "treasure" it is. You'll see what I mean by that in a moment.

Everything we do in our lives relates to time. Everything takes time. Wise old Solomon penned those now-famous words about time in Ecclesiastes where he said "There's a time for every matter under heaven." (Eccl. 3:1 ESV) He goes on to list several examples of time usage which basically tells us that there is a "time for everything" and that "everything takes time."

There's something else relative to all of us human "beans" and that is, we never seem to have enough time to do all the things we'd like. How many times have you heard people say, "There's just not enough hours in the day." Well, obviously there was enough for us to do the things we did accomplish. I guess what we're saying is that we'd have liked to have done more, but ran out of time. It's this idea about the usage of our time that I'd like to draw our principle lesson from. And this principle will take us back to the concept of time being a "treasure."

Since we all are active to various degrees, thus we all use time, the important thing for us to consider is HOW we use our treasure, our time. Yes, we all have things that have to be done but, we also have what I'm going to call "free time" or "optional time." It's in this area of time usage that we see what really matters to us. Where we really see what we care about most. Maybe it could even be said, what we're concerned about. In short, how we spend our "treasure" shows just what's important to us. Shows just what really matters, doesn't it?

When we think about our Christian lives and we're cognizant of the fact that we have duties to perform while here, both to ourselves and fellow man, but more importantly to God, we have to evaluate our time usage and ask ourselves if we're prioritizing that usage in the best possible manner. To borrow a phrase from the Apostle Paul, are we "rightly dividing" our time? As Christians, do we budget it appropriately?

Do you know who serves as a good example of one who does a good job of budgeting their time? The "busy person." Haven't you heard people, on many occasions, say "If you want something done, ask a busy person?" Why is that? Because a busy person has learned how to budget the hours in the day. You see, why we many times run out of time is because, I'm sorry to say, we've wasted it.

Oh yeah, there are lots of things that are seemingly important. That "simply have to be done." I don't have a problem with that thought process, I think that it's simply a matter of us deciding what's important. What has to be done. When we speak of importance what we're talking about is where our priorities are set. Here's the important question to ask ourselves: Does the "dividing" line of our time give us the greater portion of that time or does it go to God? Only each individual can answer that question for themselves.

Now here's something else to consider in regards to how we use our time: did you ever think that others might be watching how we use our time. I mean, if we profess to be a Christian, don't you think that others might be seeing how we spend our time and when they do, is God glorified by our time usage? Relative to that usage, how is our "light" shining? (Mt. 5:15)

Well, in wrapping up our thoughts today, let me just say this: "IT'S ABOUT TIME" that we do some soul-searching regarding the use of our time. That we really consider just how we spend this wonderful gift, this treasure, we've been given. Because, how we spend it paints the picture of what we are to those who know us and it tells them just exactly what we care about.

"IT'S ABOUT TIME" that we take stock of how we budget our time. How we prioritize it, IE: what we put first in our life. "IT'S ABOUT TIME" that we understand just how important the usage of our time is to our soul. When Solomon said "there's a time for every matter under heaven" remember this: "under heaven" refers to our time on earth. It's only here that we're given time to prepare our souls for eternity and "IT'S ABOUT TIME" that we recognize that the saving of our soul is our number one priority. The number one usage of our time.

This "number one priority" leads us into our final thought. Remember the 2nd sundial and the last line of its inscription: "the NOW on which the shadow stands." Let me again borrow a phrase, a warning if you will, from Paul: "Behold, NOW is the favorable time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation." (2Cor. 6:2 ESV)

RRon Covey

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