Some friends and I were lounging in my living room the other evening talking about how some people can waste so much time and never feel the slightest twinge of remorse for it. Some however, like myself, can seriously struggle with a borderline obsession with time management even to the point of feeling guilt, remorse, restlessness, or devaluing people for the sake of tasks.
I made a statement though that I’m sure is shocking to some, and I thought it to be worth writing out. That is: I believe the guilt we feel when we know we’ve wasted precious time, is truly a spiritual issue.
Yes, I know this opens doors for unhealthy obsession, but doesn’t everything? So let’s appeal to our emotions to help us understand the spiritual state of things… How many full moons do you see in a lifetime? Do you know?
Why Does It Matter?
Perhaps you’ve heard this statistic before, but have you ever really pondered this? How many full moons will you see in your life?
Most of us would never consider this until someone points it out like I am, but on average, the moon cycles in its elliptical trip of necessity nearly 13 times per year. This means that given an average lifespan of nearly 80 years, most of us won’t have the opportunity to see a full moon more than 980 times in our life.
Not that big of a number is it? It surprised me, at least.
Still, if you’re young, you’re likely to think that’s a fairly large number, so let’s (literally) bring it closer to home. What about those big, deep orange, glowing moons we all yell to our friends, “Whoa! Check that out!” over? Those optical illusions against the horizon are more rare, and more beautiful.
More so, partly cause of the elliptical path it floats along (according to some research I found) the moon meanders thousands of miles closer to earth every 8 years or so and it appears much noticeably bigger, brighter, clearer, and more beautiful than ever.
I remember this being hyped up in 2008, and the next moon so bright and full won’t be till November of 2016. At this rate though, it means we get to see no more than 10 of those big beauties!
So why all this moon talk? Well, for how seriously vital to life that huge creation of God’s is, it sure is unappreciated isn’t it? I would also ask you to consider why you are subconsciously thinking, “Hmm, dang, I’m gonna go check out that moon tonight!” in the back of your mind.
In a world of seemingly infinite possibilities, our time is unforgettably finite.
We take a lot for granted in a short life.
What Is “It” That Matters?
Maybe you’re not that impressed with the moon, but what if I bring this even closer to home?
What if you replace “moon” with, sunset, sunrise, hugs from your mom and dad, meaningful conversations with your child, hard laughs with your friend, sex with your spouse you truly experience love with, times you roll the windows down and sing that song with your friend, etc., etc., …you feel me.
How many times will you actually get to do that?
Life suddenly feels kinda… short? Time suddenly feels kinda… fleeting?
Then ultimately, what about that idea that could have helped hundreds reach thousands with true hope, or provide life saving necessities, stop abuse, or feed hungry. What about that spiritual conversation with your neighbor that might change his eternal destiny from a horrific and miserable separation from God and goodness to forever reigning with Jesus and living on a new and perfect earth with perfect love?
That… just got heavy.
How I Know It’s Spiritual
You know you were thinking you’d go look at the moon – don’t deny it. So why is that? There’s only one answer and it’s the same reason we get emotional thinking of those many other opportunities listed above.
You were created to enjoy beauty, know goodness, and live in peace. It’s true! This present state is not the intended state of existence. Because of this, a limit has been placed on it and, thank God, an end has been provided. (Now that’s what we call redemption!)
Yet… the hard side of that is that to love goodness, we must truly hate “badness”. It’s hard because we are prone to apathy, laziness, and being self-centered now, but the Holy Spirit still works on our souls to convict us and cause us to long for a goodness that can only be fought for in this fallen state – never simply had at no expense. (John 16:8-11)
Then, even more so, those of us who have joined God in his redemption plan, and have been given the Holy Spirit to reside in us (not just work on us), are continually convicted of wasted time. He changes our souls to be discontent with an infinitely scrolling Pinterest session or Facebook browse while hundreds die around us without knowing him. He motivates us to take action!
In case we wouldn’t be able to discern that, he goes so far as to clarify:
“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:13-14
And to instruct:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Eph 5:15-17
Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:15-16
The point is never “don’t get drunk”, but always “rather be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph 5:18-20) It’s about doing good instead of doing nothing!
For us who will spend eternity enjoying goodness with God, sure enjoy it now with purpose, but we are to care most about those who don’t know they’re made to glorify the only one worthy of glory. Everything, and I mean, everything… should be for that cause.
In each moment, you either fight to become more in tune with this motivation, or to stifle and silence it – pushing your conscience further from God’s heart.
More soon. Think well!
I’m excited to soon be posting a lot of my time management and life planning resources and strategies. Do you have any advice or arguments you’d add to improve these thoughts? Any good tips and resources you’d share?