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Time is a treasure that must be well spent

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

Several years ago, Tom Heymann wrote a book entitled In An Average Lifetime. I’m sure the stats are a little dated now, but it’s still interesting to think about what happens in an average lifetime.

He shared that the average American lives to be 74.9 years old and earns $1.2 million. The average American drives 413,226 miles, and sits in traffic for nine months. In an average lifetime, we spend 49 hours seeing doctors, and 64 hours waiting to see them.

We spend 13 years and four months watching television, and change the channel 325,893 times. We spend five years waiting in lines, three years in meetings and one year looking for misplaced items.

We spend 24 years sleeping, celebrate 74 birthdays, and receive 333 birthday gifts. The average American woman will weigh herself 8,491 times, while the man will weigh himself 9,815 times. We will eat 14 pounds of turkey.

Another study revealed that we spend six months of our lives waiting at stop lights, two years returning phone calls, four years doing housework, six years eating . . .

How do we spend time? William Temple was complaining to his father that he had too little time for all he had to do. His wise father replied, “You have all the time there is.”

Time is treasure. Suppose your bank credited your account each morning with $86,400 and every evening canceled whatever part you had failed to use during the day? I imagine most of us would find a way to spend every penny before the day was over.

We have another treasure deposited into our lives every day called time. Every morning we have 86,400 seconds. Each night, every second of that day is gone.

We spend time, but we also lose time, use time, manage time, waste time, save time and watch time fly. Sometimes we run out of time, like during the countdown to Christmas.  This football season has produced a new kind of time: it’s Tebow time!

A.W. Tozer said, “When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.”

Time is fleeting. Someone wrote,

“When as a child, I laughed and wept,
 Time crept!
 “When as a youth, I dreamed and talked,
Time walked!
“When I became a full grown man,
Time ran!
“And later as older I grew,
Time flew!
“Soon I shall find while traveling on,
Time gone!”

James 4:14 reads, “What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

The Greeks had a god named Kronos, or time. The statue was always depicted on his toes, running. He had long hair which hung in front of his face, so that one could grasp him from the front. But the back of his head was already bald so that once he had raced by, no one could catch him from behind. Time was fleeting.

Time is precious. Time is short. Therefore, we need to make the most of our time. As Paul put it, “Redeem the time, for the days are evil,” (Eph. 5:16).

We’re now well into January, but it’s not too late to take stock of how we’re using our time, and to make commitments that will help us make each day count.

We all get 24 hours a day. How will we maximize our time this year?

Someone suggested,

“Take time to laugh, for it is the music of the soul.
Take time to think, for it is the source of power.
Take time to play, for it is the source of perpetual youth.
Take time to read, for it is the fountain of wisdom.
Take time to pray, for it is the greatest power on earth.
Take time to love and be loved, for it is a God-given privilege.
Take time to be friendly, for it is the road to happiness.
Take time to give, for life is too short to be selfish.
Take time to work, for it is the price of success.”


Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church in Fayetteville. The church family meets at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to joint them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at

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