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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wasting Time Is Just Wrong

There are some lessons I can't seem to learn. I know that I need to use my time wisely but I will surely waste it if I am given any opportunity. I end of working long hours because I don't work efficiently.

Take today for example. I came in on Saturday like I always do because I didn't have my sermon done. I spent most of the week trying to figure out how we were going to manage to worship in a social hall that is less than a fourth of the size of our sanctuary. I measured and thought about it way to long because I still don't know that we can because I have to find out if we are meeting the fire code. I shouldn't have spent any time at all.  Therefore, I spent six hours completing Sunday's sermon with the resolve that I will be more efficient next time.

Have you ever wondered how much you could get done if you always did what you were supposed to do? Have you ever questioned what distracts you? Have you ever noticed that you are so easily distracted by good things? The bad things just don't distract you.

Our struggle is not with whether or not we are going to rob a bank or write a symphony. We struggle with sitting down to find out one thing we need to know for our job and getting up from four hours later because we were fascinated by what else we learned on the internet. We didn't visit evil sites. We just wandered along with interesting articles and facts. Even this would be okay if we had the time to do them.  But we don't. We know we don't and we know how to fix it.

We have to discern what is pleasing to the Lord, put those things on a todo list and systematically do the list. We have to be aware that God may interrupt us but we also need to discern when deviating from our list is an appointment made by God or just a distraction to keep us from doing what pleases God. Our own flesh can justify anything. Prayer should confirm or deny any change to our schedule.

If we don't take our time seriously, we will find it wasted. I know. I have been guilty of this. I, more than anyone else I know, needs to get out the todo list and do it. I, more than anyone else I know, have wasted time. I must see this as evil.

God has great plans for each of us but we will never see His plans to fruition if we waste our time. Of this I am guilty and of this I make a new commitment to the Lord. I will do what pleases Him.

Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV)
15  Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,  16  making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 


Anthony Chia said...

I am NOT proud of it, but I must say, "Me, too!" Although we are NOT perfect (see, yet another area showing that we are NOT perfect), we are to work on it. Oh! Anthony Chia, you too, got to work on it.

There are 2 aspects to this "we are wasting previous time", that I want to write a little:

1. We do NOT do the things we are supposed to do, instead, we do the things we are to refrain from.

It can be straightforward like, you are to go to church to worship God, and NOT to the movie theatre to watch a pornographic movie; or it can "very grey", like, can't I watch a TV show I like, on a Saturday night? (What show? How late? What time do you have to get to church the next day? Or are you already short on your revision, and you are having exams on Monday morning?)

2. We are doing what we are to do, but we are NOT giving it enough time.

There can be other reasons, why the 3 little pigs, one built a house with straw, another with wood, and the last one, with brick, but one of the reasons is the amount of time each wanted to spend on the project.

The 1st pig finished so very quickly, he could play and watch the other pigs still building their houses. The 2nd one took much longer, for he needed to fall the trees and saw the wood to sizes to build; of course, the last pig, took the longest, he needed to get brick first, before he could even begin to build. We know the story, when the test came, only the brick house stood, and the last pig was safe and sound.

This above story is NOT from the Bible, but there is a warning like it, in the Bible:
Matthew 7:24-29 - “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Many may say, for the above, it is about the rock or sand; yes, it is about the rock and the sand, but it also is about, that it takes a lot more effort and time to build with rock than with sand. Now, if someone wants to think this way, "Hey! I have said the Sinner's Prayer, and so I have already built my house on the rock." Then, maybe he should just throw the Bible into the sea!

When a project or undertaking is difficult, there can be two reasons, when cut to the chase, and one of them is that it takes a lot of time to do. So, when we say, "When it is difficult, it doesn't mean we are NOT to do it", we actually imply that if we have to expense TIME and energy on it, we are to do it. It of course, has to do with wisdom. Both this Matthew text, some said it as the concluding message of the Sermon on the Mount (and so, is it that simple as, "I have said the Sinner's Prayer, and so I have finished building on the rock"?), and Eph 5:15-16 text that Ps Prentis has used in the blog, have it - wisdom; and it, wisdom, can either be endowed or given, or we can grow it in us.

I have, as a small child, heard this other one, fashioned, I believe, from a Proverb of the Bible (Pro 6:6-11): the story of the grasshopper and the ant.


Anthony Chia said...

Cont. From above

When the days are good, bright and sunny; yes, summer, the ant would take some time to gather up food and supplies and stored them in the nest: it is NOT the ant does NOT enjoy the warm, it is NOT the ant does NOT bask in the sun, with a glass of sweet honey it has collected from the many flowers of the fields in the summer, it is that it knows the times. It does NOT fight time; it flows with time, even submit to it.

I have heard fancy preaching on God is timeless and so, blah, blah, blah. I tell you what, God created a world that proceeds in chronological time, so get with it. So, be like the ant, be wise on how we are to use our time; know the time, don't fight it, flow with it, and even submit to it, for it is our lot.

Oops! Back to the story; the grasshopper, on the other hand, only wanted to be gratified to the greatest extent possible, and wanted to live for the moment only, and so, he went non-stop merry-making, enjoying himself fully, gratifying his flesh, and eyes.

To cut the story short, in the deep of the winter, the grasshopper knocks at the door of the house of the same ant, which he had previously thought was foolish to have NOT joined him on his rounds of merry-making, and asks for food and shelter. Does it NOT remind you of a parable in the Bible, the parable of the 10 virgins.

What do you do with your time? Be wise. Consider this, John 9:4 - As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions - there is a time for everything (Eccl 3:1), yet be wise, and know the times.

Craig Godfrey said...

Sigh, ok I'll stop trolling your site and do something else. Although on the train home the only other alternative is sleep...