Title: The Stewardship of Time
Text: Psalm 90:1-7; Ecc. 3:1-17; Eph. 5:8-17
Truth: God expects people to use their time wisely.
Aim: To help them use their time wisely.
Life ?: What does it matter what I do with my time?


Maybe you remember the 1974 folk song by Harry Chapin, ďCats in the Cradle.Ē The song was in the top ten for 15 weeks and the number one record for two weeks. It was Chapinís only number one hit.

The song is about a father that is too busy to spend time with his son. As the son grows he asks his father to spend time with him, but the father always postpones the sonís request to the future. The son idolizes his father and wants to become like his father. At the end of the song, the father realizes his son has become like him. However, it is the poor example of not having time for his father. Throughout, the song is peppered with phrases of nursery rhymes to remind us how quickly this time is going by.

Here are a few verses:

My child arrived just the other day.
He came to the world in the usual way.
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay.
He learned to walk while I was away.
He was talking before I knew it, and as he grew
He said, ďIím going to be like you, Dad.
You know Iím going to be like you.Ē

My son turned ten just the other day.
He said, ďThanks for the ball, now come on letís play.
Can you teach me to throw?Ē I said, ďNot today,
Iíve got a lot to do.Ē He said, ďThatís OK.Ē
And he walked away and he smiled and he said
ďYou know Iím going to be like you, Dad,
You know Iím going to be like you.Ē

The final verse says:
Iíve long since retired and my sonís moved away.
I called him up just the other day.
I said, ďIíd like to see you, if you donít mind.Ē
He said, ďIíd love to, Dad, if I could find the time.
You see, my new jobís a hassle and the kids have the flu,
But itís sure nice talking to you, Dad.
Itís been real nice talking to you.Ē
And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me,
Heíd grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.

Hereís the rest of the story. Harry Chapinís wife, Sandy, actually wrote the words to the song. Her poem was inspired by watching her ex-husband try to reconnect with his absent father. Chapin wasnít much interested in the poem until after their son Josh was born. But it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When their son was seven, Harry was performing 200 concerts a year, and Sandy asked him when he was going to take some time to be with their son. Harry promised to make some time at the end of the summer. He never made it. That summer, on his way to a business meeting, a truck rear-ended his Volkswagen, it burst into flames, and he was killed. (Jerry Shirley)

Like the song, Iím sure if Harry Chapin had it to do all over again, he would have used his time differently. That statement and the song assume it matters what we do with our time. Why does it matter what we do with my time?