I Want to Waste My Time

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By Jeff Foerster

My work is focused, my attention is directed, and my clicks are precise. Each image and each caption is carefully read and logged in my short-term memory for comparative purposes. I can easily track my progress toward my endgame, as all are ranked in order of speed. So there I am, dedicated to the task of researching and compiling data crucial to, uh, something or other. There is just enough peripheral information to keep me interested and moving forward, onward toward that approaching goal of uncovering the one — the fastest aircraft in the world! I wade through differing builders and differing sponsoring countries. When a Russian variety makes the list I feel a small sense of competition building, until that plane is superseded by an American aircraft. Then, as this is revealed before my eyes, nationalism is renewed and patriotism stirs within me. I, as an American, am back on top — a victor once more. And all I had to do was click on a slideshow built for the selling of advertisements. Then, something unforeseen took place.

Just below the image of plane number 12, a banner appeared. In a rectangular box plain text spread from left to right across the screen. Unencumbered by decoration, the displayed message was clear: I WANT TO WASTE MY TIME. This is not good advertising. There was no flashy imaging or scrolling text to garner my attention. It didn’t make promises of fulfillment or happiness, however temporal. It didn’t intrigue my curiosity with intellectual ponderings. Nothing of the sort. In fact, the message comes close to being insulting.

Yet I was stunned by this most simple, monochromatic missive. The words before me became almost audible. You see, I had spoken to someone the night before this odd occurrence and revealed to them that I thought God was opening my eyes to how I spend the time He has given me. Lips slightly parted and brows raised, I sat there, staring, then reading and rereading the text to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. I felt exposed, like just becoming aware I had been watched for an indeterminable amount of time. I may have laughed or just shaken my head, though I don’t recall. This had to be one of the bluntest, timeliest messages I have ever received in all my years.

I am not about to delve into concepts of synchronicity or weigh in on the idea that “there are no coincidences.” I will not meander down rabbit trails or set the stage for doctrinal dissertation. What I will do is remind myself and declare to you that each day is precious because it is a gift that our God and Father gives us to unwrap as the day itself unfolds. Each day provides opportunity to take a stand and praise our Maker. How I choose to spend the time given to me declares my priorities, my values, and my loves.

What are you going to do with the time given to you? Who, or what, will it declare that you love?

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Dash Between the Dates

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How old were you in 1977? How old are you now? How old will you be in 2043?
This Last Word is being written January 3, 2013. Life is a funny thing, because it seems to fly by so fast … yet we are in control of how we spend our time. I did a coaching assessment a while back and one of the exercises it had me do was to guess the age I would die. Then it asked me to map out what I would like to do between now and the time of death. It showed that in a perfect world my time on this earth is getting shorter and shorter. So how am I investing it?

I seem to be bad at investing. I too often allow myself to become unintentional and unproductive in the way that I am living for God. The enemy likes us to be unintentional and unproductive for God.

For me, it’s everyday life that gets me derailed from living for God. What derails you? It could be work, friends, sports, school, or even family. It could be that life is not what you thought it would be. God has never promised us an easy life, but in the midst of the good and bad of our life He has asked that we stay focused on Him, that we bring glory and honor to His name by being intentional and productive and living for Him.

Now, in my opinion, productivity is surrender. As we surrender our life and give it over to God, He uses us to bring glory to Himself. I like to get in the way and try to do it myself without surrendering.

As you look at 2013, ask yourself: “What is derailing me from fully surrendering my life to God? What is derailing me from bringing glory and honor to Him?” This is the time of year to reflect and refocus. Set some goals and get into community with others who will help you live as God has called you to live.

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