Your Time—Be Happy in the Way You Use It
MORE and more people today find little satisfaction with the way in which they spend their time. This is noticeable even among those whom we might reasonably expect to be happy—persons still having the strength and vigor of youth. Yet many of them see no real purpose in living.
Take the case of a young man in Japan. “While preparing for college entrance examinations about four years ago,” he says, “I spent much of my time contemplating the meaning and purpose of life. The more that I read and studied various books on philosophy, the more disappointed I was. Shortly after passing the entrance examinations, I joined a political party. Because of many problems, the political activity came to a standstill. Again I had to face the question, ‘What is the purpose of life?’”
Disappointed because college did not give him the answer to his question, he confined himself to his room in a boardinghouse and became absorbed in reading novels. He says: “I began to live a pleasure-seeking life, doing so half out of despair. I wondered more and more as to what men live for.”
Similarly, a young man living in California relates: “I thought that life’s purpose was to acquire as much as possible. But I found such a life very dissatisfying and disappointing. After having gone to college for two years, and after buying a house, a new van and an expensive sports car and other things, I still wasn’t satisfied nor happy with my life. I could see myself going through more of the same for the next forty years and then finally acquiring the grave. Besides this, I was having problems in my marriage. My wife and I had sought out such help as guidance groups and even a psychiatrist. But nothing improved our marriage.”
In the case of both men something happened that changed their whole view of life. Today they are happy with the way in which they are using their time. The Japanese man explains: “I finally came to the conclusion that the answer to my long-perplexing question regarding the reason or purpose for life depended upon whether God exists or not. I reasoned, ‘If men were a mere product of evolution, there cannot be a purpose in life.’ So I decided to make sure of the existence of God. I came to realize how much satisfaction and joy the way of living taught by the Bible gives us.” The young man from California followed a like course and says: “The more I would apply Bible principles in my marriage, the more it improved.”
The experiences of both men well illustrate that a person can be happy with the way in which he is using his time when he heeds the inspired counsel of the Christian apostle Paul: “Keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked.”—Eph. 5:15, 16.
In this world there are many distractions, things that can lead a person to waste valuable time and even to bring trouble upon himself. Many persons are given to excesses in food and drink. The use of addictive drugs is becoming more and more widespread, and sexual immorality is being engaged in on a large scale. Books and magazines that appeal to base inclinations are being printed by the millions. Much that may be seen on movie and television screens has little value and may be very degrading. That is why, as in the apostle Paul’s day, we can say that the “days are wicked.”
A person must, therefore, be on guard against becoming involved in a way of life that results only in frustration and a feeling of emptiness and despair. Wise is the One who ‘buys out the opportune time for himself,’ that is, stops devoting time to worthless pursuits and redeems it for use in a meaningful way.
What about your own life? Are you pleased with the way you have been spending your time? Or, do you feel that you would be far happier if you could use it more purposefully? As imperfect humans, we all have room for improvement and need dependable guidance to make wise use of time. Our Maker, Jehovah God, has provided such guidance in his Word, the Bible.
If you are not presently experiencing the joy that comes from knowing and applying Bible principles in your life, why not begin now? Jehovah’s Witnesses in your area would be delighted to share with you what they have learned from the Scriptures. Avail yourself of their aid and see for yourself how helpful the Bible is in pointing the way to happiness through wise use of time.