Summary: Here are some suggestions to help us be all that we can be in the new year. (PowerPoint available - #248)
APPL. Maybe that helps explain the generation gap. Young people feel that they have plenty of time, therefore time loses its value, & they aren’t too concerned about wasting or squandering it.
On the other hand, as we get up in years a bit, we begin to realize that our time is becoming rare & therefore more valuable.
So those of us over 60 tend to look at those under 20 & say, "Don’t squander time, because it’s valuable." They reply, "No, it’s not. We have lots of time. So we can waste it any way we want."
And the wider the age gap, the wider the generation gap because of the different values that we place on time.
C. The Bible often speaks of the brevity of life. It compares life to the weaver’s shuttle rapidly going back & forth to the shadows of summer that quickly disappear to grass which grows up, dies, & then is burned.
No wonder the Psalmist asks God, "What is man that you are mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:4)
ILL. Statisticians tell us that the average life span is now around 76 years. If you’re under 30 then you think that is a long time. But if you’re nearing that age, you’re beginning to realize that’s not really very long at all.
ILL. I ran across some interesting statistics a few years ago. Someone went to the trouble to research what people do with their time, & came up with these results:
If we live to be 75, most of us will have spent 3 solid years, 24 hours a day, acquiring an education grade school, high school & college.
We’ll have spent 7 years eating, 24 hours a day, some less, & some more, obviously. We’ll have spent 14 years, day & night, working. We’ll have spent 5 years riding in automobiles or airplanes.
We’ll have spent 5 years talking with each other again some more & some less. We’ll have spent 1 year sick or recovering from sickness. And get this, we’ll have spent 24 years of our life sleeping!
We’ll have spent 3 years reading books, magazines & newspapers. And 12 years amusing ourselves watching TV, going to the movies, fishing, etc.
That totals up to 75 years & that is what the researchers say, on the average, most of us will have done with our lives.
APPL. As I looked at these statistics I began thinking. Let’s suppose that you spent every Sunday of your life, for 75 years through infancy, childhood, adulthood, old age in God’s house worshiping during the Church Service.
Now if you did that, how much time would you have spent worshiping God? Figure it out the answer is less than 5 1/2 months.
But let’s double that, because you’ve always attended S.S. You’ve never missed Sunday School in all your life. That makes it 11 months.
Think about that 5 years in an automobile & just 11 months in Church & S.S.! Twelve years amusing ourselves in front of a TV, & just 11 months in Church & S.S. And that is just if you always attended S.S. & Church, & never missed!
SUM. That tells us a little bit about the brevity of time, & it also tells us something about our priorities in life.
D. The Bible also teaches us that life is uncertain. Time is like a valuable commodity in a very precious & delicate vessel. It might break at any moment & we might lose it all. So we have this moment. We don’t know anything about the future, but we have this moment & that is all that we really have.