It can’t really be 2012! Can you believe it? Wasn’t it just a little while ago I was making New Year’s resolutions for 2011?! Where does the time go? We may shake our heads as we ask that question, but the truth of the matter is, it’s not just time that has gone by, but a fragment of your lifespan.
The following numbers are meaningless as they appear here: 31,536,000; 525,600; 8,760. But consider them in light of the number 365. Mean anything yet? Let me clarify: Those are seconds, minutes, hours and days. You see, when we talk about wasting time, it’s not really time being wasted. Those are segments of your life. However, in 2011 you spent, invested or wasted 31,536,000 seconds of your life on something. Are you happy with what you bought?
As you know, there is a huge difference between spending and investing. You spent or invested 525,000 minutes of your life in 2011 to purchase a portion of what you have today. Buyer’s remorse is what happens to many people after a purchase. They are enthusiastic about the purchase until they get it home and apply it; dissatisfaction sets in and they suffer a case of “buyer’s remorse.” If it’s a suit, a tie, a tool of some kind or some other inconsequential item, it can often be returned, but what you purchased with your 8,760 hours in 2011 is nonrefundable and nonreturnable. So the question is, are you happy with it? Some of the people reading this are experiencing buyer’s remorse over their purchases. I hope you are not one of them.
The next time you are tempted to say, “I’m just killing time,” remember, it really isn’t time you’re killing, it’s a measure of your life allotment!
You can spend your time as you usually do, but there’s another way. It’s called investment. Investment is different from spending. Investment tends to appreciate, while spending tends to depreciate. Of course, there are risk factors associated with each, but careful analysis and studious assessments can reduce the risk and make an investment extremely profitable. The wise investor is always seeking the potential for a return on his investment. Farmers, in a manner of speaking, invest when they plant seed; they anticipate the harvest or return will be sufficient to offset the risks and return a profit.
It is also required that you consider what you are investing in. Most of us are familiar with the concept of investing; there are blue-chip stocks, oil stocks, high-risk ventures, junk bonds on Wall Street or Uncle Willie’s get-rich-quick scheme. You make decisions daily, decisions that can be conscious or unconscious and involve spending, investing or wasting.
If you had $31,536,000 to invest, you would be extremely careful and deliberate in your choices, as a wrong decision could cause great loss. Life offers almost those exact same choices. Remember, you are spending or investing life not just time.
Many of us own property: land, homes, cars, stocks and bonds. But what do you know of in all the world that you would consider your most valuable possession? As I reflect, I really can’t think of very many things that I would deliberately, cold-bloodedly give up my most valued possession – my life – in exchange for. Oh, I admit I might be willing to risk my life in pursuit of a great cause: the Gospel, defense of my family, America. Perhaps I could spare four or five of my 10 to 12 pints of blood to save the life of one of my children, probably a kidney to save the life, or an eye to restore the eyesight, of a child or grandchild.
But honestly, would I deliberately, with forethought, give up my life for a drug addict, a murderer, a rapist – especially if one of them had perhaps murdered and/or raped one of my granddaughters? Frankly, I think you and I would probably answer that question in the same fashion – a resounding no!
As I thought about this further, though, I realized God has made an investment. God has planted a seed. His investment, His seed, is the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. What, I wondered, could possibly merit the investment of the most inestimable, precious, priceless, cherished treasure ever seen? What possible return on any investment could merit such a sacrifice? Especially when the return on investment He anticipates is often denigrated, spat upon, cast aside, unappreciated, criticized and, in some cases, actually destroyed. Few truly recognize and place any significant value on that for which God expended – invested – His treasure.
We have concluded that we would not exchange our life for a rapist, a murderer, a thief, liar, terrorist or any other altogether unsavory type, but then it struck me anew: The only return on investment God anticipates is from exactly the kind of people we’ve just listed because, as the Scriptures say, “such were some of you.”
It is amazing, mind-boggling and almost unbelievable! God, the Creator of the universe, has invested the life of His only begotten Son, and the only return on investment He has in mind is – you. Think about that! As you do, may I ask you one final question? While tomorrow is not guaranteed, what will you do with the approximately 31,536,000 seconds, 525,600 minutes, 8,760 hours of the 365 days you will most likely have available in 2012?
Waste, spend or invest?