By Pastor Vern Kratz
The other day I spent almost 2 hours on the treadmill. The read out said I had travelled 13 miles, but I had never left the room. At first glance it seems like a complete waste of time. I didn’t get anywhere. I was in the exact same spot as when I started.
A week ago I went out and mowed my lawn. I looked out my window today and realized that I will have to mow it again tomorrow. Some would maybe say that my work a week ago was a waste of time, because now I have to do it all over again.
Starting in the fall of 2010 I began following a certain NHL team. And that particular year my team lost a majority of their games. An average game would be anywhere from 2 and half to 3 hours. Some would say, “What a waste of time. Every other day spending all that time watching a team lose.”
The other night I drove from store to store. I didn’t really need anything. I just went from store to store. Some would say, “What a waste of an evening. Stay home, do something else more enjoyable.”
The other day I read a book. Now most would say reading is good for you. Reading surely isn’t a waste of time. But I’ve read this story a few times, in fact, parts of the book I’ve read many times. Most people only read a book once. If it is really good they may pick it up again in a few years and read it again. But to read it more than that would seem like a waste of time when there are so many other good books to read.
The slogan for the Comedy Network used to be “Time well wasted.” For a moment you don’t know if you should feel guilty or not for watching. Maybe you should change to the Discovery Channel or the History Channel – that would be less of a waste of time.
The truth is I really don’t waste a lot of time.
Running on the treadmill for 13 miles may not get me anywhere, but it is a great work out and keeps me heathier at 47 than I was when I was 30. And being fit has benefits that effect almost every facet of daily life. If it is a waste of time then it is time well wasted.
Mowing the lawn is something we have to do several times in a season. There are many tasks that we have to do over and over again from yard work, to house chores, to paying bills, to filling vehicles. They aren’t a waste of time. It’s called being responsible. If it is a waste of time then it is time well wasted.
My intrigue with hockey during the 2010-2011 season was only part of the story. The team I was following was my teenage son’s favorite team. And every 2 and half hours that we spent watching our team lose was 2 and half hours we spent together. If watching a losing team with my son is a waste of time then it was time well wasted.
I do hate shopping. But the other night I was with my wife going from store to store and I knew that she enjoyed it. It was time out of the house after she had had a long day. If it was a waste of time then it was time well wasted.
As I open God’s word I find the book of Ecclesiastes difficult to understand. But that is where our reading guide has us these days. Words like meaningless, futility, and oppression are used over and over. In fact in some places it even seems like God is wasting His time – He just keeps doing things over and over and over again. But we know that God doesn’t waste time, does He? I am glad that God does things over and over again. I’m glad that He corrects and encourages me over and over again. I’m glad He chooses to love us over and over again. I’m glad He is willing to change and transform our lives over and over again. He desires to spend time with us over and over again – even when we ignore Him or do things to hurt Him. If all that is a waste of time – then it is time well wasted.
So how are you going to waste your time today? Will you spend time some time with your family, your spouse? Will you spend some time on routines and disciplines and responsibilities? Will you do things that will have a positive effect on your friends and those you will interact with today? Will you do things with integrity over and over again? If that is how you will choose to waste your time today then it will be time well wasted.
By the way, the Book that I was reading the other day, I just read from it again, and I’ll read it again tomorrow.
“…meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it…” Joshua 1:8