Are you spending your time or spinning your time? It's funny how we think more about things as we have less of them. Health, hair, energy, youth, time with your children, time with your parents, you see the pattern. It's the law of supply and demand. We tend to put a premium on what we don't have and take for granted what we do.
Have you given much thought to your pinky toe lately? How about when you turn a corner too fast and slam your baby toe into something so hard that it makes a crunching sound and shoots searing pain throughout your whole body? Weird right? Something that you never think about immediately becomes your number 1 priority.
If we are not careful time can be like that little toe we ignore every day. It's always there but given little consideration. Time is a very precious thing, arguably the most valuable commodity on the planet. It only moves in one direction, it never stops, and it is in limited supply. You can't earn it or buy it. We try to reverse the signs of it, extend it, and make the most of it, but it is constant, and immutable. The clock is always ticking.
I have read a number of books on wealth building and what is most interesting to me is that there is a common theme among the wealthy which might surprise you…time. Invariably, when I read a book on how to become successful financially I find that the financially successful are trying to figure out how to have more time. In many cases, their goal of financial independence is more about having time to do what they want rather than a number in their bank account. So then success becomes more about preserving time rather than accumulating money. I can get behind that!
We may not be able to change the number of hours in a day but we can change how we use them. What I am about to say will not win me any popularity contests but I know it's true. If we are spending hours a day focused on getting likes, playing video games, or watching stories about someone else's life are we truly living? I know it sounds like a rant, but stay with me…
If this is the case, I have to ask myself "Are we living in the real world"? Hey, I am as guilty as anyone, so no finger pointing here, but if we take a step back away from the phone, tablet, tv, or computer screen and look at ourselves from across the room, what we see is a person physically doing nothing. No one is looking us in the eye and telling us to our face that they like us. We aren't really building a mansion, flying a jet, or fighting in a war, and it's not actually us saving the world. The actors on TV aren't really even saving the day. It's all production, enticement, entertainment, and DISTRACTION. What we see has been photoshopped, auto-tuned, auto-corrected, filtered, and edited to make it all seem perfect and we have become starry-eyed fans of a reality that isn't real. The harsh reality is that so much of what our world gets gratification from today is fake. Billions of people, literally frozen, sitting in front of a box with lights, trying to sell us more boxes with lights, visualizing themselves in a real world doing exciting things all the while they are actually in the real world looking at a box and doing nothing productive.
Now, imagine a world where a group of people exist who are your mortal enemy. They have the power to defeat you but most don’t know it and it's imperative that they don't figure this out. You devise a plan to create an epic distraction in which your enemy will focus on a fake reality freezing them in place where they are no threat to the real battle. In this fake reality, you devise a way to promote the merits of the fake reality and to get others to join. Sound like a science fiction novel? This is the world we live in and we have bought into the lie…hook, line, and sinker. Not only have we bought into it, we celebrate how many others are in our network of distraction. The epic distraction exists and we are the ones who are frozen. We have to wake up and focus on what is important.
My point is this, we may not be able to change the amount of time we have but we are in control of how we use it. The first lesson I learned in a computer science class was when my professor walked in on the first day and said "Computers are like screwdrivers, thank you" and I kid you not, he turned around and left. No introduction, no other words were said. This was the lecture for the day and one I have never forgotten. It still holds true today. Think about fire and water as universal examples. We use fire for warmth and cooking our food and we need water to drink, to clean, and to survive. Now think about forest fires, houses that have burned to the ground where families lost everything, people that have been severely burned, the devastation of tidal waves, tsunamis, and people who have tragically drowned. It's still fire and it's still water but seen from very different perspectives.
To my professor's point, computers are like screwdrivers because they only do what people instruct them to do. Don't blame the tool. In and of itself, that's all computers are, a tool. The same can be said of the Internet. It's just a tool. How we use it is what matters. Unfortunately, statistics show that there is far more bad out there than good (people did this) but how we use the tool is our choice. The same can be said about cell phones, TV, social media, video games, etc. We must be extremely careful when doing what is popular, especially if it doesn’t feel quite right and our justification is that everyone is doing it.
We know that the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is a liar and the father of lies. Please do not be fooled my friends. If you let him, he will steal your time and distract you from your true mission. Please be mindful and prayerful about how God wants to use you and how he wants you to spend your time.
My advice for us all is to evaluate the time suckers in our lives. Are there distractions in our lives which consume a large amount of our time and yet produce very little good? Stop doing these! It's that simple, and yes you can. If you feel like you can't stop doing these things, then at ask yourself why and consider how precious time is.
Have a blessed day!