You know that moment?

Published 9:58 am Friday, April 1, 2011

Last week I was visiting with a family at a local hospital whose loved one was undergoing a particularly serious heart surgery.

As I accompanied the gentlemen’s wife from the lobby to the waiting room we passed by a poster on the wall that featured several of the hospitals surgeons posed in an advertisement. “There he is,” she said pointing to rather young looking face in the ad. “There’s who?” I asked. “There in the picture is the surgeon that’s doing Jim’s heart surgery today,” she exclaimed.

As I looked at the picture on the wall it dawned on me in a rather sobering way, “That boy could be my kid!!!” He hardly looked old enough to drive let alone graduate from medical school! Speaking of kids, have you experienced that moment when you begin to rely on your children for driving directions?

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This getting older thing is for the birds! Why I’m almost to the point where I can easily figure in my head just how many years it will be before I qualify for a Golden Buckeye card! Time sure flies when your having fun. Years ago in “Bit’s and piece’s Arnold Bennett wrote, “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.

The Bible speaks plainly to us regarding the value of time. You see God exists in a realm that is not bound by time or space. God doesn’t wear a Rolex or even a Timex. He doesn’t have a Day-Timer or an iPhone.

He is the Creator of time, and He is greater than time. So, the first step in making time your friend is to totally immerse your life in God. In Psalm 90, we read: “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night….The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away…..So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” God says we should treasure time as a valuable commodity. You number your years (or at least some of you do), but God says every day is so precious, we should treasure it and number it.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.

How valuable is an hour? Ask the businessman whose flight was delayed an hour and he missed an important business deal. How valuable is one minute? Ask the man who had the heart attack in the restaurant and an EMT happened to be sitting at the next table and CPR saved his life. How valuable is a second? Ask the person who barely missed a head on collision with an oncoming car. How valuable is a millisecond? Ask the Olympic swimmer who missed qualifying by six-tenths. Time really is valuable. So learn a couple of things about what this means for you:

Treasure every moment that you have! Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift…That’s why it’s called the “present!”

“You can make more money but you can’t make more time.” Someone wisely said, “We master our minutes, or we become slaves to him or her; we use time, or time uses us.” And Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for it is the stuff life is made of.” Time is more valuable than money, but it’s like money in that it can be spent and invested. It’s different from money though, because while money can be saved, time can’t. It you don’t use it, you lose it. Forever.

In the early 1970s Jim Croce wrote a song that said, “If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do, is to save every day ‘til eternity passes away–just to spend them with you.” Those are great lyrics, and it would be nice if we could save time, but you can’t. In fact, a few months after he wrote that song, he was tragically killed in a plane crash in Natchitoches, La. at the age of 30. You can’t save time. I believe that where you invest your time reveals what is most important to you. Where are you investing today?

Tim Throckmorton is pastor of Plymouth Heights Church of the Nazarene