2000-05-29 - Using Time

Job 22:15, 16 Will you keep to the ancient path which wicked men have trod, who were snatched away before their time, whose foundations were washed away by a river?

Every year the Darwin Awards are given out to those who meet their end in strange and unusual ways. Some are sad, but often some are also rather humorous. Below is this years winner. I share it with you in hopes that you enjoy it and then plan to write a little about time and our use of time.

(5 September 1999, Jerusalem) The switch away from daylight savings time caused consternation among terrorist groups this year. At precisely 5:30 Israel time on Sunday, two coordinated car bombs exploded in different cities, killing three terrorists who were transporting the bombs. It as initially believed that the devices had been detonated prematurely by klutzy amateurs. A closer look revealed the truth behind the untimely explosions.

Three days before, Israel had made a premature switch from daylight savings time to standard time in order to accommodate a week of Slihot, involving pre-sunrise prayers. Palestinians refused to "live on Zionist time." Two weeks of scheduling havoc ensued. The bombs had been prepared in a Palestine-controlled area, and set on Daylight Savings time. The confused drivers had already switched to standard time. As a result, the cars were still en-route when the explosives detonated, delivering to the terrorists their well-deserved demise.

How we use the time that God has given us is a matter of stewardship. We are responsible for how we use the time that God gives us. One of the sad things to see is someone who is wealthy, on their death bed, knowing their time is a hand, saying, "All I own for a day more." But money can't buy time when our days are out. A little reflection will cause us all to repent and sorrow over all the time we have wasted already.

The good news about time is that we can use each minute of remaining time as wisely as possible. There was one saint, I believe it was John Preston, who used to divide his day up into five minute segments and tried to make sure he did something useful with each five minutes. That would really be a challenge.

There are two applications respecting time for us:

  1. We should improve our present time without delay.
  2. We should improve those aspects, especially, that are most precious. We ought to make the most of our quiet times with the Lord, our prayer times, and our time spent in public worship. For these things we ought to seek to be most attentive and alert.

Time really is short, and the continuance of time is uncertain. Time that has been unwisely used can not be recovered. No amount of repentance for poor use of our time can win any of it back. We can only resolve to use it well from this moment on. May God give us grace to use our time to the Glory of God.

Soli Deo Gloria,