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« Out of Season | Main | The Stealing of Jesus »

The Time of Your Life

clock.jpgDo you know what the following numbers represent?

2,207,520,000  (Seconds in a 70 year old lifetime.)
31,536,000  (Seconds in one year.)
86,400  (Seconds in a day.)
3600  (Seconds in an hour.)
60  (Seconds in a minute.)

The following definition follows U.S. usage in which a billion is a thousand million and a trillion is a 1 followed by 12 zeros.

  • A nanosecond (ns or nsec) is one billionth (10-9) of a second and is a common measurement of read or write access time to random access memory (RAM). Admiral Grace Hopper famously handed out foot-long lengths of wire to students to illustrate how far an electrical signal can travel in a nanosecond.
  • For comparison, a millisecond (ms or msec) is one thousandth of a second and is commonly used in measuring the time to read to or write from a hard disk or a CD-ROM player or to measure packet travel time on the Internet.
  • A microsecond (us or Greek letter mu plus s) is one millionth (10-6) of a second.
  • A picosecond is one trillionth (10-12) of a second, or one millionth of a microsecond.
  • A femtosecond is one millionth of a nanosecond or 10-15 of a second and is a measurement sometimes used in laser technology.
  • An attosecond is one quintillionth (10-18) of a second and is a term used in photon research.

Observations and Questions about time: 

  • Can you stretch a second or a minute into a longer period of time?
  • How much time do you have in comparison to your neighbor?
  • Can you recall and relive one single second?
  • Why do some people seem to have more time than others?
  • What do we mean by “saving time?”
  • Why does time sometimes “fly?” and other times drag by?
  • Why do some people seem to get more done in their lives than others?
  • What is “quality time?”

I Don’t Have Time

Busy, important people never have time. Admit it and be done with it. If you had the time to walk, you’d be out making another million, right? Who wants to be a pedestrian , anyway? (Ordinary, unimaginative, uninspired). Nope, you don’t have time. Speed by Olander and glance sideways at them wasting precious hours drifting in sailboats, or getting hooks wet, or endlessly circling a lake while spewing meaningless drivel to similarly unoccupied drones. Not you. It’s productivity all the way. Make every minute count. Save time. You know, like the slogan, “Get in, get out, get going!” And, all the time you save by not walking, you’re putting into a time bank, right? Good. Just cash it in when you get ready. Precisely what an unnamed friend of mine did…or planned to do. It was really sad, though, because three very short years away from the first withdrawal, his bank closed down. Yeah. I heard the assets were non-transferable, too. Oh well, if the kids can’t have your remaining time, they can probably get that unspent million.

There are four categories of time usage:

Sustenance (No choice)

  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Personal maintenance (hygiene, grooming, etc.)

Productivity (Initial choice, then little or no choice)

  • Job, Career, Vocation
  • Travel
  • Personal economy (house, yard, vehicle, shopping)

Social Obligations (Range between no choice and complete choice)

  • Relationships (talking, emailing, visiting)
  • Duties (funerals, weddings, parties, etc.)

Discretionary (Complete choice)

  • Recreation
  • Hobbies
  • Entertainment
  • Management of thoughts, emotions, interaction, etc.

Dysfunctional people do not balance their use of time.

  • Addicts, alcoholics, workaholics, fanatics
  • Narcissistic, egoistic, paranoid

The more you focus on one area of time, the more dysfunctional you are.

Not all time is equal, that’s why it must be managed. (Preparation, planning, planting, building, developing, learning, growing, etc.)

How sacred do you consider your time to be? Is time as sacred as life?

  • What are the most important ways we could and should use our limited time?
  • What are the least important ways we could and should use our limited time?
  • Why is there a conflict between the two usages?
  • What are our greatest time wasters?

Common statements about time:

  • When I get time…
  • I never have enough time…
  • I ran out of time…
  • I didn’t do it in time…
  • Time flies when you’re having fun.
  • There’s no time like the present.
  • This will save us time.
  • Time waits for no man.

Annie Dillard: How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
B. Franklin: Dost thou love life? Do not squander time, for that the stuff life is made of.
Brian Tracy: There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.
Will Rogers: Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.

  • Habits, addictions, compulsions, worries…all steal time from us.
  • Haste, impatience, brashness, stubbornness…all grant false gifts of time to us.
  • Procrastination, fear, indecision, lack of planning…all waste time for us.
  • Bitterness, hatred, anger, envy, jealousy…all turn time against us.

What does the Bible say about our use of time?

The most important appointment you have is salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

The most important discretionary time is your walk with God. Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The most important concept of time is timing. Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law. 1 Cor. 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

The most important attitude toward time is accountability. 1 Peter 4:1-3 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

The most important comparison to time is eternity. 2 Cor. 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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