John Maxwell, in his book Today Matters, says, “We exaggerate yesterday. We overestimate tomorrow. But we vastly underestimate today! When your mind is focused on yesterday, your heart will be filled with regret from the past. When your mind is focused on tomorrow, your heart will be filled with anxiety about the future. When your mind is focused on today, your heart will be filled with hope. If you change what you do today, your life will change!”1
The Bible says, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
Imagine a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400, carries no balance from day to day and every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Most of us would take out every single cent.
Every one of us has a bank like that. It’s called TIME. Every sunrise shines light on the fact you and I have been given 86,400 seconds of time. Every night the account is wiped clean and the books record whether or not we invested what we were given for good purposes or squandered it foolishly on things that served no purpose. Our account carries no balance, so each day is like a brand new account being opened. At midnight, as in the story of Cinderella, everything goes back to what it was before.
SO WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR TIME?
Neal Jeffrey said, “Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have – so spend it wisely.” How do we do that? How can we be wiser in the expenditure of the limited time apportioned to each of us? Paul encouraged the people at Ephesus, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Every day we hit the ground in the morning, no matter the hour, the clock is already running and it stops for no one and no thing. That’s why it’s so critically important we wise up before time’s up. Job said his days were “swifter than a weaver’s shuttle” (Job 7:6), suggesting his life was spinning away from him and two chapters later in Job 9:25 said, “My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away …”
Thom Rainer said, “We’re busy people. We bolt about our daily routine in a tornado of rapid activity. Time is a precious commodity, and we fill our time with as many activities as possible. We cram one-hour tasks into fifteen minutes, and then we speed twenty-five miles over the speed limit to make up for the rest. We overcommit. We underplay. We procrastinate. We’re perpetually late. Then, we complain about little sleep and no time for exercise or leisure. Americans spend their time like their money, using as much as they have (if not more) and saving none.” 2
Every day we hit the ground in the morning, no matter the hour, the clock is already running.
OUR DAYS ARE LIKE IDENTICAL SUITCASES. All the same size, but some people are able to pack more into them than others.
American philosopher, William James, said, “The best use of one’s life is to spend it for something that will outlast it. Life’s value is not its duration but its donation – not how long we live, but how fully and how well.”
An old Indian proverb says, “Remember when the sun goes down at sunset, it will take a part of your life with it.” That’s why we need to make every moment and minute count.
That’s also why being a Christian and living for JESUS is the best investment anyone can ever make, with returns that are literally out of this world and interest compounding forever.
Do you know JESUS? If not, why waste another second?
© 2020. Barry L. Cameron
1 Shook, Kerry, and Chris Shook. Love at Last Sight: Thirty Days to Deepen and Grow Your Closest Relationships. WaterBrook Press, 2010. Pg. 81
2 Rainer, Thom S., and Sam S. Rainer. Essential Church?: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts. B & H Books, 2008. Pg. 74-75.
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.