A Penny for Your Seconds?

This past weekend, twenty-one of us, along with twelve thousand other people descended (or ascended, because it was technically in the mountains) on Gatlinburg, Tennessee for Winterfest.  The kids were great, the adults were great, and God it just amazed me to watch God literally changing people’s lives and transforming people in an amazing way.  The worship was incredible, the speaking was even better, the fellowship was sweet.

Jeff Walling spoke on Saturday night.  He gave this illustration throughout the talk where one penny represented one second of your life.  So six hundred pennies represented one hour, and behind him was this massive column filled with eighty-six thousand four hundred pennies and that represented the seconds God gives each of us every day we are alive.   I just want to show on the way we “redeem” our time, as Paul says in Ephesians 5:15-16.

The average person lives to be seventy-seven years old—that’s twenty eight thousand days, six hundred seventy thousand hours, which is  forty million minutes.  The Average person spends forty minutes a day on the phone.  That’s twenty hours per month, ten days per year, which is two years in a lifetime.  The average person spends one hour in the bathroom every day.  That’s thirty hours per month, which equals out to around fifteen days a year, which means we spend about three years in a lifetime in the bathroom!  The average person spends twenty-six minutes a day getting dressed. That’s thirteen hours a month, which is seven days per year.  The average person spends one year in a lifetime getting dressed! The average person spends three hours a day in front of the TV.  That’s ninety hours each month, which equates to forty-five days of the years.  The average person spends about nine years in a lifetime watching TV!

The average Christian spends less than ten minutes a day with the God of the Universe, who is our truest friend and the Savior of the world—the Creator of time.  That’s less than six hours a month.  That’s less than three days a year.  The average Christian spends less than seven months in a lifetime with God!   That includes Sunday mornings, Sunday Evenings, and Wednesday nights!  That includes our prayers before food, and our feeble “fall asleep” prayers every night.  That includes the times we say we’re “really busy” with church!  Does anyone else see a problem here?

When we spend our time, there is something that defies everything we are taught:  you can never, ever, ever get it back.  Every second that ticks by is gone forever.  Opportunities don’t return, words are out there forever, death is eternal.  Why then, Christian, do we constantly spend our time in such a wasted way?  I didn’t include video games or face book, which some people spend six hours a day or more on!  That equals out to forty-two hours a week, That equals about two thousand one hundred eighty-four hours a year! That averages out to somewhere between sixteen and eighteen years of your life!

Church, when did we become such colossal time wasters?  We’re frugal with our resources but crazy with the only one we’ll never get back:  our time!  God has given each of us a certain amount of “pennies” and we just throw untold numbers of those “pennies” at things that don’t matter…but we throw five or ten a day at God and wonder why we aren’t growing, or changing, or stepping out!  We wonder why the church is so ineffective and irrelevant in our society today!  It’s because we are not being

“very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16, NIV).

This calls for a return to God, church!

This calls for repentance.  This calls for a reorganization of your organization!  This calls for you to change. When Judgment comes God’s going to see (and already knows) how we’ve used all our “pennies.” He will see the severe deficiencies in our lives and nonchalant way we threw pennies to earthly garbage…but we invested so little in eternal life.  We must remember that what God says, He means, and His words are sincere.  Let us make a better use of time, because we will give an account of every penny.  Just something to think about.

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