Today is a good day to check out how we spend our time.
I spoke to an old friend yesterday. He was frazzled. He’d have been pulling his hair out, if he still had some. He was listing off to me all the parties and social functions that he and his wife had already attended during this Christmas season, plus the ones still to go. He finally lamented that by Sunday night he would be done and then he could relax and enjoy the holiday.
Wait a minute! What’s wrong with this picture? He was worn out from partying and now he was looking forward to having nothing to do! Isn’t partying optional? I told him, tongue-in-cheek, that no one held a gun to his head and made him go to those social functions. All I heard from him was sighing. Then he said with a sad tone to his voice, “I work hard to make a nice home and it seems I am never home to enjoy it.
I thought of something after I hung up the telephone. There is one thing we can never work hard enough to have and that is more time. What if…what if we began to view time as a limited commodity…how would this effect our life? AND, for crying out loud, time is a limited commodity and all of us live like we have an ocean of it left.
If attending countless social activities this time of year brings us happiness and joy, then well and good. If we are lamenting that we only have one more party to go before we can finally relax, something is incredibly off.
Jesus loved a good party just like the next guy. Every time we turn around in the Gospels, he is eating with somebody or attending a wedding feast or hanging out with Lazarus, Martha and Mary. I cannot think of a single time though when Jesus went to some party and complained all the way home.
We only have just so much time. Jobs nowadays, for those who are fortunate to have them, eat up gobs of time. Due to this economic meltdown we are living through, I read that those Americans who have jobs now work 2050 hours per year, which means that we work more hours each week than an English miner in the 14th century.
Furthermore, it is an employer’s market these days which means that most folks are told to be quiet and be glad they have a job. The point I am trying to make is that far too often we do not have that much disposable time to begin with so shouldn’t we be making better use of what we have?
Shouldn’t nourishment of our souls be given priority so that we can better survive these long hour days? And lamenting that we have yet another party to attend is just plain crazy.
Finally, the old curmudgeon Qohelet may have said it best, “I know that there is nothing better for humanity than to be happy and do good while they live.” [Ecclesiastes 3:12]