They Found More Time
THERE are people who are convinced that, as the Bible says, a person’s “life does not result from the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) Many of them have learned from experience that day-by-day living is more enjoyable, and far more satisfying, when they can devote less of their time to earning money and more to their family and to pursuits of spiritual value.
Charles was a schoolteacher. He had taught American history for years, but the job was beginning to affect his nerves as each new year seemed to bring a more unruly class than the last. Besides, he wanted to be able to spend more time with his wife, his son and aged mother, as well as in other pursuits. His decision? To quit teaching and take a job driving a school bus in order to get the schedule he wanted. Adjustments were involved, but he found the time gained to be well worth the price.
Sam was an outstanding worker in a Chicago, Illinois, specialty printshop. His boss offered him the position of shop overseer, but Sam refused, despite the increase in pay. He knew that overtime work would inevitably come with heavier responsibilities, and that would cut into the time he could spend with his family, among other things. As a result of turning down the position of shop overseer, Sam was available when another job with the company came along, one that allows him to schedule his own time.
Bill is an electrician in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is constantly under temptation to enlarge his business, fighting what he calls a “never-ending battle to stay small.” He likes the fact that his time is his own, his headaches are relatively few and paperwork is minimal. Rather than going in debt for a large house, Bill started off with a modest trailer, and enlarged it over the years, knocking out walls and gradually transforming his trailer into a beautiful home. “I never had to borrow a lot of money to build this way,” he said, “and I had a hobby. I was always learning something as I worked on the house. I never had to neglect my family either. Instead, working on the house helped to draw us together.”
Mike has a gardening and landscaping business in Washington, D.C. “I have to turn down a lot of business,” he admits. But he adds: “I feel it’s worth it. I value my peace of mind. This is a business where you could easily work seven days a week. There is no shortage of work. I generally work only about three days a week, though, and that allows my wife and me to have a lot more time together for things that are important to us.”
In Japan a young man married his employer’s daughter, and was being groomed to manage the family business, a plant employing 300 people. After considering the toll that such a position would take of his family life and his religious life, the young man declined the management offer and asked to continue simply as an employee of the company. It gives him more time for the things that are truly important to him.
These are just a few examples of the people who have concluded that time—for the sake of their own health, for their family, for helping other people to learn what the Bible says about the real purpose of life—was more important to them than money, a prominent career, or material possessions. None of them regret the decision they made.
Statistics indicate that, even under present conditions, people like these will live longer, and their own testimony is that they are living happier lives than before. As wise King Solomon once put it: “Wisdom is for a protection the same as money is for a protection; but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom itself preserves alive its owners.”—Eccl. 7:12.
How long can wisdom preserve your life? Longer than you may think!