Summary: The clock is ticking! Limited time! Limited days! What would you do if you knew that your time was about to be up?
Pt. 2 - Wasted
Time is so important to us that we have even given time power. Time will tell. Time will heal all wounds. I’m not really sure time has those abilities but I know this time is valuable. Time is the most valuable asset any one of us has. As we do our very best to try to force us to focus and gain perspective by asking this question . . . “What would you do if you only had 30 days to live?” Have you carried your number around this week? Did it cause you to consider? Did it prod you to prioritize?
Jesus actually addressed the use of time on many occasions. He talked about the 10 wise and 10 foolish virgins and contrasted their level of preparedness in light of passing time. He told the story of talents and then Mina which illustrated not only stewardship of finances, property, talents but also time. Even at 12 (which proves you can learn the lessons of time early) Jesus talks about time when He addresses prioritizing by saying “I must be about My Father’s business!” However, there is a story that Jesus told that forces us to reflect on our use of time.
Luke 16:19-28 (Message)
“There once was a rich man, expensively dressed in the latest fashions, wasting his days in conspicuous consumption. A poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, had been dumped on his doorstep. All he lived for was to get a meal from scraps off the rich man’s table. His best friends were the dogs who came and licked his sores. “Then he died, this poor man, and was taken up by the angels to the lap of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell and in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham in the distance and Lazarus in his lap. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, mercy! Have mercy! Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool my tongue. I’m in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that in your lifetime you got the good things and Lazarus the bad things. It’s not like that here. Here he’s consoled and you’re tormented. Besides, in all these matters there is a huge chasm set between us so that no one can go from us to you even if he wanted to, nor can anyone cross over from you to us.’ “The rich man said, ‘Then let me ask you, Father: Send him to the house of my father where I have five brothers, so he can tell them the score and warn them so they won’t end up here in this place of torment.’
Rich is relative.
You might think why address material things when talking about time. However, the truth is most of us are actively giving our life away day by day and minute by minute for stuff. If we are going to avoid wasting time we must also address material things. Rich is relative.
This account illustrates this truth . . . You can be money rich and time poor. If you give away all your time and all you have to show for it is money, toys, houses, and stuff you may be rich but you may also be poor! The currency required to gain stuff is time. I don’t think Jesus is against stuff. He is simply trying to get us to recognize that there is a different way to evaluate and estimate success.
The man was rich but he was poor. He had stuff but he had no seconds. His perspective is unique in that we get to see what he sees looking backwards. His backwards view shows us that in retrospect he determined he wasted his life. He accumulated property but in the process he lost priorities. He would trade all of his stuff for a second to warn those he loved not to make the same mistake.
This account begs this question . . . What does it profit a man if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?
The rich man would scream don’t waste your time! Get the stuff but make sure you also secure your soul and loved ones.I want you to notice how selfish he was in life . . . he didn't take care of the poor man. Also, notice how selfish in death . . . bring me water and then second he worries about his brothers.
Are you wasting your life? The problem with this truth is that so many of us are already so far down the wrong track! We have already given years or even decades in this rat race to get ahead and succeed that we can’t get the time back. We have lived so selfishly that If we start thinking about reprioritizing and making changes, then we either get depressed or give up because we know time is lost. However, we forget another truth from this account.