Make Wise Use of Your Time
DID you ever think that the days in your life-span are in some respects like the grains of sand in an hourglass? Like those grains, they steadily flow away until none remain. There is nothing you personally can do to stop that flow, and as it continues you can see a steady loss of your life potential. When you are young you give little thought to it because the greater part of your life is still ahead of you. Not until you suddenly become aware that the bloom of youth has passed and more than half of your life is spent are you likely to become thoughtfully concerned about it.
Since time is such a precious thing, is it not foolish to waste it in a senseless pursuit of physical pleasures and material things? They cannot bring lasting satisfaction or make life deeply meaningful. They cannot bring tranquillity of mind and good relations with your Creator. Instead, their pursuit can fill your life with frustrations, fears and excessive worries. It can make your life seem hollow and without purpose. There is a better use that can be made of time.
When wise King Solomon considered all the material pleasures that were available to him and all his material possessions and the great things he built, he concluded that they brought little meaning to life itself. He said: “I, even I, turned toward all the works of mine that my hands had done and toward the hard work that I had worked hard to accomplish, and, look! everything was vanity and a striving after wind.” (Eccl. 2:11) All these things have little value when you come to the point where the days remaining in your lifespan are running out. What good are they to you then? They cannot extend your life. They cannot strengthen your feeble knees, rejuvenate your circulation or renew your failing eyesight. When your life-span ends, you cannot use them in the grave, and they are powerless to buy your release from it. From this viewpoint, would it not be vanity to live for them, a senseless chasing of the wind?
Since you came into the world with nothing and go out with nothing, what can you possibly gain from a lifelong pursuit of material possessions and pleasures? Commenting on this, Solomon observed: “Just as one has come forth from his mother’s belly, naked will one go away again, just as one came; and nothing at all can one carry away for his hard work, which he can take along with his hand. And this too is a grave calamity: exactly as one has come, so one will go away; and what profit is there to the one who keeps working hard for the wind?” (Eccl. 5:15, 16) There are much better things than physical pleasures and materialism for which a person can expend his time.
The gaining of godly wisdom, for example, can make your life far more meaningful. Unlike material things, it does not become rusty, worn out and useless. It cannot be stolen or destroyed. The longer you have it the more satisfying it becomes and the more purpose you find in life. It can guide your feet along the paths of good judgment and righteousness. It can safeguard you from the bad way that would bring you trouble, heartache and remorse, It can steer you away from bad companions who leave the paths of uprightness. Time devoted to gaining it is time well spent.
The source of real wisdom is your Creator, Jehovah God. In his written Word he provides practical wisdom and knowledge that you can gain if you take the time to study it. There you will find wise instruction on how to walk a path of righteousness, how you can bring happiness to your life by unselfish service that benefits others, how to avoid becoming distressed over frightful world situations and how your life-span can be extended indefinitely.
To young persons who have not learned the value of time and who tend to have distorted values because of their immaturity, Solomon counsels: “Remember, now, your grand Creator in the days of your young manhood.” (Eccl. 12:1) Because of the youthful love for pleasure, it is easy for a young person to forget his Creator by giving no time to the wisdom of the Scriptures. Yet this time in his life is when he especially needs the good influence and guidance of divine wisdom. This is when he needs to learn the path of righteousness and how to stay on it. This is the time for him to begin establishing good, lifelong habits and a right pattern of thinking. This is the time for him to make high principles an inseparable part of his personality. The time he takes to search for the wisdom of God that can help him do these things is time wisely spent. It will act as a safeguard for him throughout his life.
It is not yet too late in life for you to remember your Creator and to spend time being taught by him through his Word. Now that mankind has come to the point in time when Jehovah God is due to bring about major changes in human affairs, the importance of being guided by his wisdom has never been greater. When he brings in a new system of things, it will be possible for those guided by it to live far beyond their normal life-span.
Being the Creator of man, Jehovah God has the power to extend your life-span indefinitely. You personally cannot do it no matter what you do; but he can, as an act of undeserved kindness toward you. That he will do this for those who have permitted his wisdom to guide them is promised in his written Word. Thus we have the “hope of the everlasting life which God, who cannot lie, promised before times long lasting.” (Titus 1:2) Is not the prospect of a life-span that will never cease sufficient reason in itself for you to remember your Creator no matter what age you are? Is that not reason to spend time seeking his wisdom and instruction on how to serve him?
In view of the prospect of extending your life-span and the immediate benefits the attaining of Scriptural wisdom can bring you, your studying God’s Word, and then eventually your serving him, is the wisest use you can make of your time.