There’s an old saying that “Time is money” and while that seems deep enough to stuff inside of a fortune cookie or place on a horoscope, it ultimately sells the value of time far too short. Unlike money which can more-often-than-not be replenished, time is something that you can never get back. The world we live in is not from some Justin Timberlake schlock where time can be exponentially increased whenever you feel like touching your arm in the right way (and c’mon, casting Olivia Wilde as his mom? Nothing creepy or oddly sexual about their interactions at all) but it is rather a reality where each second ticks away and is gone forever.
“Wow! Congratulations Tim, you just realized what most of us knew at the age of twelve.”
Alright, yeah I know that it sounds redundant, but hear me out because the concept of time and how it is spent is something that I believe most of us do not fully understand or appreciate. And what makes matters worse is the very likely possibility that we do actually understand the value of time but willingly throw it away anyways.
“So how does this relate back to your click-bait title?”
Look back on the past week and reflect on what has taken up your free time. Assume that work, sleep, and other responsibilities take away about eighteen hours per day and let’s instead focus on the remaining hours and how they are typically spent…
- Working out? Of course, gotta look good for somebody.
- TV binge? Can’t relax any other way.
- Social media browse? Need to get opinions from somewhere.
- Catch up with friends? Yeah, Vin Diesel says that friends are family.
Honestly, that sounds like a great way to spend some time and it’s safe to assume that you wouldn’t be doing any of the above activities if you didn’t truly value or enjoy them; time is valuable, and if not, then spend every day after work hanging out with the smelly coworker who brings up way too intimate of stories and doesn’t understand the meaning of personal space.
I will go one step further and say that you don’t just VALUE the the things you do or the people you interact with in your free time, you LOVE them. (Or can at least see yourself loving it/them at some point in the future) Especially in the current times where feelings and passions are what drive the majority of all of our decisions, if you don’t love what you are doing then you probably aren’t doing it for long.
And even though I do not like the whole “time is money” metaphor there is some truth to it in the sense that money is ultimately reflective of what we value and love. In the same way that you or I won’t spend much time taking part in something that we don’t like, neither will we willingly shell out money towards something we don’t want. You won’t catch me going out of my way to buy season pass tickets to sports games but you’ll probably cringe if you saw how much money I spend on movie tickets. So in fundamental way, time and money are inextricably linked.
Now take a look at your transaction history on your bank account or go through your recent Amazon orders and see what you spend the most money on. Maybe you haven’t spent too much the past week because you’re broke and waiting for payday tomorrow so at least try to remember the stuff you have purchased throughout the year. It might look something like this…
- A few hundred dollars for food and drinks you didn’t need.
- Close to $1000 on that new phone upgrade you had to have.
- Almost $200 on Netflix, HBO, and all those other streaming sites because even though you canceled cable you figured paying equally as much for multiple streaming apps was a better idea.
- $100 tickets for Twenty One Pilots. There is a tear in your heart and you’re on fire.
Alright so maybe not the Twenty One Pilots concert, but I’m sure you get the gist of it.
Now with these lists in our head in regards to how our time and money are spent, I have another question to ask: where is God in all this?
Why is so much of your time and money not spent on God? Why do you binge Game of Thrones for three hours but only give God a few fleeting moments before you crash for the night? Why do you burn away $50 on a pair of new shoes on Saturday but pass off the tithe on Sunday because “money is tight right now” or “I’ll do that when I have a real job“?
You can try to justify yourself by saying “hey, I’m praying to God throughout the day, so you can’t tell me that I don’t prioritize Him,” and you may be right in that justification, but I’m willing to bet that typically our thoughts are anywhere except God, and trying to argue your way out of a lack of real appreciation for God is only going to cause more harm to yourself.
For a large percentage of us, the ratio of time and money spent on God is inexcusable because we have either been raised in the church or Christians for long enough that we know what is actually righteous and true. We’d be better off being in the place of Michael Scott, unaware and questioning who God really is, rather than the state of willful ignorance and apathy that so many of us find ourselves.
The truth of the matter is that we do not truly love God; to us, He is merely the homeless man at the corner that we only spend time with or give money to when either guilt sets in or we need to feel better about ourselves.
If we wholeheartedly loved God then our actions and spending habits would reflect that. We seem to run with the idea of God being a forgiving and loving Creator to the extent where He doesn’t care if He is treated like crap. If we treated anyone, especially significant others, the way we treat God, then none of us would be in relationships for long. When we date a guy or a girl we commit endless amounts of time to them and leap at the chance to talk to them, and I don’t think I need to mention how much money dating can cost you. But if suddenly each of us were to only talk to a boyfriend/girlfriend at the end of the day and fall asleep halfway through the conversation, or only give them our attention when we needed something, we’d be changing our Facebook statuses faster than it takes for us to close the Bible app and switch back over to Snapchat.
The lack of love for God is a problem that is not easily fixed over night. For many of us, coming to a place of real understanding and worship of who God is and what He expects from us will cause a lot of pain and require a lot of lifestyle changes. I’m not saying that we have to completely give up every hobby or activity that is not solely focused on God, nor do we necessarily have to give up all wealth to God and the church. Yet, I do think that it is pretty telling when someone can quote The Office five hundred times over but has a hard time remembering any lines of scripture (i.e. myself).
The fact that a change is hard does not mean that it should be pushed off and I know that for myself such a change in priority is necessary and I’m sure that there are more than a few of you who feel the same.
Thanks for reading.