Most Precious ‘Resource’ [v135]

MAY 2010

OUR MOST PRECIOUS ‘RESOURCE’
Ask a few hundred people about what they think their “most precious resource” would be, and you get: “Gold,” “diamonds,” or “oil,” with “water” being mentioned the most.

Well, especially with “Earth Day” happening just a few weeks ago, many are thinking a bit larger in scope—they are saying that we all need to be “green,” so that we can “save our most precious resource—the earth.”

I’m all for conserving and recycling, but I believe there is an even MORE IMPORTANT ‘RESOURCE’ than even our earth! … and that is TIME!

In the past few months I’ve discussed what is really important to you:

– What your daily ‘routine’ would be if you only had 7 days to live
– What kinds of things (your “bucket list”) you want to see/do before you die
– ‘Where’ you think you go after you die
– Can one really be sure they are going to ‘Heaven’?

Fortuitously, these all have to do with ‘time’—how you use it, define it, and if you feel it ‘ends’ for you sometime in the future.

So, why do I say time is so important? Well, just ‘Google’ it, and you’ll find multi-millions of ‘hits’—primarily about “time management.”

Most of the entries say that a “successful life” is achieved through “employing the skills that get things done efficiently and in the shortest time possible”—and that only a few of us employ all of the time management ‘tools’.

I’m thinking that’s pretty to do since, for the average man and woman, life is a ‘whirlwind’ of frantic activity. From sunup to sundown they rush from one task to another, yet don’t seem to “accomplish anything of value” at the end of the day. They believe that time management means “reaching a high activity level” rather than applying their time to accomplish the most important tasks in the time available.

Time management is definitely a skill that can be, and must be learned. Good organization, just like a good budget, insures that those passing minutes contain some value. Professional business people ‘carry’ a number of responsibilities—so they can’t afford to spend them in disorganized activity. The effective use of time helps them stay productive and keeps them ahead of the competition. The ‘experts’ also say that this “translates into a better home life and promotions on the job.”

Some of the things that they all agreed upon that were “crucial to successful time management” were:

– Finding the Time Wasters
– Effective Scheduling
– Organizing Time
– Set a time Limit
– Break Each Task into Actionable Tasks
– Prioritize Your Tasks
– Personal Goal Setting
– Managing Interruptions
– Concise Conversations
– Set Deadlines for Yourself
– Learning to Say “No”

During my research, I found a great analogy (metaphor?) for all of what was being said:

“If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,000 that carried over no balance from day to day. You are allowed to keep no cash in your account, and every evening, whatever part of the amount you failed to use during the day, would be removed. What would you do? Draw out every cent every day, of course, and use it to your advantage!

Well, you have such a bank, and its name is TIME! Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it rules off as lost whatever of this you failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balances, and it allows no overdrafts. Each day it opens a new account with you. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow” [Author unknown].

So, in a ‘nutshell’, as the saying goes, “Time waits for no one.” It’s the great equalizer.

No matter who we are, rich or poor, or somewhere in between, everyone has the same amount of time to use. It is what your life is ‘made of’.

Each of us has 24 hours a day, no more, no less—and we seem to ‘value’ it, considering the many popular expressions that revolve around time: “Time is of the essence;” “Time is money;” “Time is fleeting;” “The passing of time;” and “Killing time.”

Each day comes and goes, and that time is gone. Time goes by whether you use it well or poorly. Most people will tell you that they feel “pressured” by time—with so many activities and demands made upon them, they have real difficulty getting them all done. Business pursuits, family obligations, and personal activities outstrip the time to get them all accomplished. Many people suffer from sleep deprivation, because they simply can’t get to bed due to the demands on their time.

Our age, as measured in increments of time, directly impacts our social status, legal rights, health, and earning capacity. In this way, time ‘reigns’ over us like a mighty ‘scepter’. Its authority over us is undeniable. Time moves on, and as it passes, the years amass, and there’s nothing (really?) we can do about it.

At the end of the day, in my opinion, one’s level of happiness, health, wealth, and success will be determined by how well they use their time. Thomas Edison said it best, “Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” The one and only thing that is TRULY SCARCE in life is TIME.

So then, why is it that so many people are willing to let days, weeks, months, and even years go by as if they are on autopilot? Living life as though in a ‘somnambulist’ (sleepwalking) state, where one day ‘bleeds’ into the next, and maybe the only discernible difference from one to the other being what one ate for dinner. Letting life pass them by until finally years pass and one becomes filled with regret over missed opportunities and unfulfilled dreams. Is it because people believe that they can pull 25 hours out of the day if they need to? Is it because they believe that they will live forever? No, I don’t think so (unless, of course, we’re talking about teenagers or college students). The truth is, everyone knows that time is limited. So, why is WASTING time an all too common fact of life in our society?

The ‘strange’ thing about people, it’s not that they don’t know what they should or shouldn’t be doing—they do—it just hasn’t been ‘painful’ enough for them to change (i.e. it takes someone 30 years to figure out, after they have been coughing for the past 6 months, that smoking wasn’t a good idea).

You are where you are today because of the choices you made 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 1 year ago—even just yesterday. Where you are tomorrow, 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years from now will depend on the choices you make today—and from now on. Contrary to popular belief, your past does not determine your future [i.e. Robert Downey, Jr. (former drug addict, now a critically-acclaimed actor); Miguel Carera (former alcoholic, now a Detroit Tiger); Chuck Colson (former Watergate conspirator, now the “Prison Fellowship” founder); and the Apostle Paul (previous persecutor of Christians in Bible times, then the most prolific writer of the New Testament)].

As with many topics, that it should come as no surprise that the Bible has much to say about the how time is so ‘precious’.

In Genesis 1:14, we read that God created the lights in the firmament “for signs and seasons and for days and years.” We also read that on the seventh day of creation God rested and set apart the Sabbath as special, holy time [Genesis 2:2-3].

King Solomon of ancient Israel, given ‘special wisdom’ by God, was ‘inspired’ to write the classic scripture about time in Ecclesiastes 3: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” [Ed: Remember the 60’s song by the “Byrds—”Turn, Turn, Turn” (See lyrics below)].

I remember reading a book in high school titled, “The Time Machine” (by H. G. Wells in 1898) [Ed: remember the feature films in 1960, 1974, and 2002?]. It was an imaginative tale about a scientist who builds a machine that can transport someone through time—and like many scientists today—he believed that “progress” would enable the human race to build a better world. Yet, in his book, this science-fiction story does not have such a happy ending.

The ‘protagonist’ travels millions of years into the future. There the world has grown cold and dark. As a bleak snow falls, he sees the last remnants of life awaiting extinction (remember “WALL-E”?). Thoroughly sickened by the twilight of life on our planet, the scientist returns to the time of his origin to report his anguish.

Well, the Biblical view of the future is very different. It tells us that God is Lord over time itself: “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” [2 Peter 3:8]. We can be optimistic about the future because God will replace our world with a new one—and that the new heaven and new earth we will experience will be a “blessed fellowship with our Creator for eternity” [Revelation 21:1-4]. Even now, the Bible says that Jesus is preparing a “place for those who love Him” [John 14:1-3], a place where “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying” [Revelation 21:4].

On the other ‘hand’, our time on this earth is SHORT! James, Jesus’ brother, put it this way: “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” [James 4:14]. Ask elderly persons about their lives and they will usually tell you that life is ‘fleeting’.

The Apostle Paul really made this very clear in his letter to the church at Ephesus when he said: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” [Ephesians 5:15-16].

So, how then does one ‘redeem’ time?

Part of the answer is by observing your “Sabbath” (a day of rest—on whichever day that is for you during the week), annual “Holy Days,” looking for opportunities to serve others, and by not spending your time on ‘wasteful’ pursuits.

This doesn’t mean that we have to be working every single moment. It’s necessary to take a break every so often, to stop and ‘smell the roses’ along the way, enjoy the beauty of a sunset, enjoy a good book, or pursue a productive hobby. We use our time wisely when we combine the appropriate “stops” with the proper “steps,” and spend some “QUALITY TIME” WITH GOD. Remember what Solomon said: “There is a time for all of God’s purposes to be accomplished” [Ecclesiastes 3].

God Himself, the ‘giver’ of time, places a far greater value on our time—especially if it’s spent with Him—more than any monetary ‘gift’ we could ever give.

So, let me encourage you to “redeem your time” daily with Bible reading and prayer. This “quiet time” is a disconnection from all the external distractions in order for you to ‘connect’ with God. The “green pastures” and “still waters” of Psalm 23:2 are more than an idyllic country scene. They speak of our communion with God, whereby He restores our souls and leads us in His paths [Psalm 23:3].

But today most of us are all ‘over-scheduled’ and live “marginless” lives [Ed: See “v73” and “v74” on the Deep Thoughts blog for more about this]. So how do we ‘schedule in’ some time with God?

Well, the Bible also has a lot to say about “time management,” too. “We are stewards, not only of our talents, but also of our time” [1 Corinthians 4:1-2; and 1 Peter 4:10-11]. So, ‘good stewardship’ demands that we live a ‘well-ordered’ life, using our time, energy, and resources wisely.

The following are a few “time management” topics the Bible discusses:

A Time For Work and Exertion
Good stewardship demands that we set aside time for work and exertion. From the very beginning, God has expected man to labor. We must approach our work with a spirit of diligence and zeal. Honesty and integrity must characterize our efforts. Let us glorify God in our jobs [Genesis 2:15; 3:17-19; Proverbs 10:4-5; 12:24; 22:29; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Ephesians 4:28].

A Time For Rest and Recreation
Good stewardship demands that we set aside time for rest and recreation. God realizes that we need time for relaxation and renewal. The fourth commandment is itself an illustration of this fact. All work and no play not only make us dull and somber, it can also put us into an early grave. Faithful Christians will remember to also ‘glorify’ God during times of rest and recreation [Exodus 23:12; Psalms 23:1-2; Mark 6:31-32].

A Time For Friends and Family
Good stewardship demands that we set aside time for our friends and family. Relationships rather than possessions hold the key to our earthly happiness. Few blessings can compare to the relationship we share with our spouse, our children or our friends and brethren. Let us give our friends, family and loved ones the gift of our time and attention [Romans 15:24; 1 Timothy 3:14; 2 John 1:12].

A Time For Study and Meditation
Good stewardship demands that we set aside time for Bible study and meditation. It is so easy to neglect this responsibility. We soothe our conscience by saying, “There’s no time!” However, we must make time. Life is not all ‘doing’; it also involves thought and meditation. Let us ‘connect’ with God by studying His Word on a daily basis [Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:1-2; 119:15, 97, 148].

A Time For Worship ands Praise
Good stewardship demands that we set aside time for worship and praise. From the very beginning, God has desired that his people reverence his holy name. God is seeking those who will worship him in spirit and in truth. Not only must we manifest the proper attitude toward God; our worship must be according to his inspired Word [Psalms 95:1-7; 96:1-9; John 4:23-24; Hebrews 10:25].

In a small booklet I read in the past, “7 Minutes With God” (by Robert Foster), the author suggests a simple way to begin ‘connecting’ with God:

– Start with a brief prayer for guidance
– Read the Bible for a few minutes
– Close with a short time of prayer that includes Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication for others (An easy way to remember that is by remembering the Book of ACTS).

If you believe the Bible is God’s ‘inspired’ Word to us, it tells us that He can be the “center of our lives”; the “source of our security, guidance, and wisdom”; and that though we go through trials, we should not “worry about tomorrow” since this will not add a “single hour” of time to our lives. God says He will ‘comfort’ us in our troubles, BUT, only if you have a RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM!

So, how can I say that “time” is more ‘precious’ than the Earth? Well, God says in the Book of Revelation, that He is going “burn up” this earth [Revelation 8:7] (Though He is not going to destroy it—He will make a “new earth” [Revelation 21:1])— BUT we can live with Him “forever” (for ALL “TIME”), if we just accept His Son as our “Savior,” “Redeemer,” and “Lord.”

If you have not done so yet, let me encourage you to just talk to God about wanting to ‘live’ with Him for all time (in your own words—there is no ‘special’ prayer). If you would like to read a little something about what the Bible has to say about BELIEF, then visit the following link:

http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q10_d1_1of10.html

Blessings…

Mark

[P.S. I am also available to talk about this, if you would like].

[Excerpts from: Ray Bertani; Kenneth A. Tucker; Dennis Fisher; David C. McCasland; Richard De Haan; Davy Crockett; Mario Carini; Mark Mayberry]

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v135) for MAY 2010

(Note: If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net)

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In a lifetime the average American will spend:

Six months sitting at stoplights
Eight months opening junk mail
1 year looking for misplaced objects
2 years unsuccessfully returning phone calls
4 years doing housework
5 years waiting in line
6 years eating

[Survey of 6000 people polled in 1988, U.S. News and World Report, Jan 30, 1989, p. 81.].

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ETERNITY IN IT
I have only just a minute,

Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me—can’t refuse it.
But it’s up to me to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it.
Give account if I abuse it.
Just a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it

[Anonymous]

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“TIME IN A BOTTLE”

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

[Jim Croce (1972)]

http://popup.lala.com/popup/360569479532609029
[Click on link to play the song]

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“CAT’S IN THE CRADLE”
My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you dad
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home dad?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let’s play
Can you teach me to throw”, I said “Not today
I got a lot to do”, he said, “That’s ok”
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home dad?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time thenen

Well, he came home from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while?”
He shook his head and said with a smile
“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home dad?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then.

[Harry Chapin (1974)]

[Ed: Are we TOO BUSY?!].

http://popup.lala.com/popup/432627077923103856
[Click on link to play the song – (Sung by Kid Joe)].

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“TIME”
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

And you run, and you run
to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to nought
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone the song is over
Thought I’d something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells

[Pink Floyd (1973)]

[Ed: We “fritter” away our time on unimportant things—Carpe Diem!].

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntm1YfehK7U
[Click on link to play the song – (Live in 2006)].

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“TURN, TURN, TURN”
To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

[The Byrds (1966)]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNopQq5lWqQ
[Click on link to play the song – (Live in 2006)].

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NO TIME FOR GOD
“You’ve time to build houses, and in them dwell,
And time to do business – to buy and to sell;
And none for repentance, or deep earnest prayer;
To seek your salvation you’ve no time to spare.

You’ve time for earth’s pleasures, for frolic and fun,
For her glittering treasures how quickly you run;
But care not to seek the fair mansion above.
The favor of God or the gift of His love.

You’ve time to take voyages over the sea,
And time to take in the world’s jubilee;
But soon your bright hopes will be lost in the bloom
Of the cold, dark river of death and the tomb

You’ve time to resort to the mountain and glen;
And time to gain knowledge from books and from men;
Yet no time to search for the wisdom of God,
But what of your soul when you’re under the sod?

For time will not linger when helpless you lie,
Staring death in the face; you will take time to die.
Then, what of the judgment – pause, think, I implore!
For time will be lost on eternity’s shore.”

[Author unknown]

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BITS AND PIECES
Time is the inexplicable raw material of everything. With it, all is possible; without it, nothing. The supply of time is truly a daily miracle, an affair genuinely astonishing when one examines it. You wake up in the morning, and lo! your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions… No one can take it from you. It is not something that can be stolen. And no one receives either more or less than you receive. Moreover, you cannot draw on its future. Impossible to get into debt! You can only waste the passing moment. You cannot waste tomorrow; it is kept for you. You cannot waste the next hour; it is kept for you.

You have to live on this twenty-four hours of daily time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect, and the evolution of your immortal soul. Its right use, its most effective use, is a matter of the highest urgency and of the most thrilling actuality. All depends on that. Your happiness—the elusive prize that you are all clutching for, my friends—depends on that.

If one cannot arrange that an income of twenty-four hours a day shall exactly cover all proper items of expenditure, one does muddle one’s whole life indefinitely. We shall never have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.

[Arnold Bennett]

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“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.”

[Henry David Thoreau]

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“We master our minutes, or we become slave to them; we use time, or time uses us.”

[Author unknown]

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“More time is wasted not in hours, but in minutes. A bucket with a small hole in the bottom gets just as empty as a bucket that is deliberately kicked over.”

[Author unknown]

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DEEP THOUGHT:

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for it is the stuff life is made of.”

[Benjamin Franklin]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!  Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” [Ecclesiastes 3:1-11].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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