Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain

You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you

No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun. —Pink Floyd “Time”

I love this lyric. It reminds me that I can’t even pinpoint the moment when I realized that a great deal of time had already passed me by. I can remember thinking, when I was a child, that becoming a teenager seemed so far off. I can remember, as a teen, thinking that 18 and 21 were so far off. I can even remember, being a young adult, and thinking that retirement was so far off. I’m certainly not retired yet, but I’m afraid those years are right around the corner. It seems as if it is easier to consider the time that has already passed than it is to consider the time that is to come. How sad, considering that the time to come is the only time we can change.

Since time is so limited it has a great value. In our economy, time may be the most precious commodity. Think about how often we pay others to give up their time for our sake. Some sell their time much cheaper than others, and some people sell their time at a premium. It seems that, to some degree, most of us have managed to place a dollar value upon ourselves. So much for being priceless!

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12 NIV)

Every person only has 24 hours in a day. Every person only has seven days in a week. Every person has a limited amount of time to spend as a child, as a teen, as a young adult, and even as a senior citizen. When we begin to understand the true value of our time, we find that we are also developing a strong foundation for wisdom. Wisdom in how we invest our time, as well as the wisdom to consider the time that others have. Recognizing our finite nature should change the way we look at our time, as well as the way we look at the time others have.

Consider this the next time you ask someone to do you a favor. When you ask someone else to do something for you, you are, in a very real sense, asking them to sacrifice their limited time so that you can have more for yourself. This doesn’t mean that we should never ask for help, but that we would do well to consider how much we are really asking. When you ask someone to do something, does it sound like you recognize that you are asking for time that they can never get back, for the sake of saving you time? In other words, do you ask graciously and in humility? We don’t like bossy people because they, by their very attitudes, imply that our time is less valuable than theirs—ipso facto, that they themselves are more valuable than we are. Think about that the next time you “ask” someone to do something.

The same disregard for others is expressed when we are late. While we have many excuses, the truth is that consistent tardiness is stealing time from others. Life happens, and you may find that extenuating circumstances occasionally arise (a wreck at an intersection), but the vast majority of tardiness is the result of simple disregard for the lives of others. Like bossy people, late people make the statement that their time is more valuable than yours—ipso facto, they are more valuable than you. The devaluation of others happens at many levels, none of them are Christ-like and all of them are sinful.

To be fair, it is difficult to get others to respect the value of our time if we do not do so ourselves. The Christian claims to believe that there is eternal life after this one. Does your life reflect this belief? Are you captivated by the temporary? Do you give yourself to instant gratification? These are signs of immaturity—of the unwise. Your time is precious, just as you are, treat it as such. Spend your time learning about the world so that you can love it better. Spend your time investing in your health so that you can enjoy living. Spend your time worshipping God because that is your purpose. Spend your time investing in others so that they can see that you value them above yourself. Consider that the time to come is the only time you can influence, do it wisely and with the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.