What truly makes up a day? Is a day simply twenty-four hours, one-thousand four hundred and forty minutes, or eighty-six thousand four hundred seconds? How does one truly measure time? Do you ever waste time? Have you ever used the phrase, “I have an hour to kill”?
To kill and hour means to squander an opportunity to be truly alive. American theologian A.W. Tozer rightly pointed out:
“When you kill time, remember it has no resurrection.”
As I grow older, life takes on a new luster and value. Time begins to matter more and more. For instance, if you find yourself in a financial bind and ask me for $60 to pay a bill or buy a bag of groceries, I can give you my money, and in a matter of time I can earn $60 more dollars and be back to zero, but if you ask me to spend an hour with you in conversation, in a task, or simply wasting time I can never get that hour back. It has been spent. It has been invested. It will never return.
In reality most of us really have more money, or access to money than we have time. Time may actually be the most valuable treasure you hold in your hands, so don’t let it slip through your fingers in idle mindless tasks or habits.
The old American sage and patriot Benjamin Franklin penned the following insight about time:
“Doest thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”
A few decades before the birth of Christ, the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, better known to some of us who did not fall asleep in Literature class as Horace wrote in Latin:
Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
Aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero
The literal translation of this text reads: “While we’re talking, envious time is fleeing: pluck the day, put no trust in the future”
Sandwiched in the middle of this verse you find the phrase “Carpe Diem”, which we often translate “Seize the Day.” I remember I first heard this phrase not in a lecture, but watching a movie when Robin Williams playing the role of John Keating, a literature teacher in a back East private boarding school in Dead Poets Society, challenged a room full of spoiled, rich boys to stop going through the motions and to truly live—to “seize the day.”
Through the ages, the philosophy of life has inspired many a wanderer to choose a path and to step out on a quest for life as it was meant to be.
Jesus, in his classic and timeless Sermon on the Mount, inspired a sea of common ordinary people to live extraordinary lives. In the heart of his plea he cried:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you…Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33-34 ESV)
In other words, a life fully lived focuses on seeking the rule and reign of our Creator over our hearts and souls in such a way that one drinks deeply of every moment and invests his or her very being into things that really matter. Or simply put, “Don’t waste time…invest your life in eternity by loving, laughing and living with every breath you take.” So what are you going to do today?