Tuesday, September 18, 2007

my most precious resource

The headline on msnbc.com today did not come as a surprise. “Study: drivers lose five days a year to traffic jams”.

Time is such a precious resource. Or so it seems. Recently, I have taken to driving the back roads to work. Not because it saves you any time, but the idea of going 10 miles an hour on a winding road somehow is more pleasing that going 5 miles an hour on the parking lot known as the Merritt Parkway.

Overall, the study reports, drivers languish 4.2 billion hours in traffic delays every year. And that’s not commuting time, mind you, that’s sitting-in-traffic-looking-at-bumpers time.

What are we not doing because of traffic? Hmmm. Recently my friend Kevin finished his MBA program, and was trying to figure out what he would do with an extra 15 hours a week. A month later, he wasn’t figuring anymore. Not that he could point to anything different he was doing, but that extra 15 hours somehow got sucked up. I guess time is simply the lone sock in the laundry of our life – it disappears, it shows up, and we get through the day either way.

I used to think of time as a resource. I’m sure that if you opened a Bible there would be pages and pages on time management… but after doing some digging, I’m thinking now that maybe time isn’t this “precious resource” after all… perhaps it’s just an excuse. As in “I would do this if I only had the time…” and “sorry, can’t find the time.”

So am I really losing five days a year to traffic jams? I guess not. For if there was something I really wanted to do, I am sure I could find the time.

The word “time” does appear in the Bible (NIV) over 900 times… but most of those mentions are references of measurement (the second time) or transitional (at that time). In fact, throughout the whole Bible, the idea that time as a resource is only mentioned three times.

When God’s people were driven out of Egypt, they ate unleavened bread. Why? They didn’t have the time. No time… no problem.

And in Ecclesiastes we are reminded… “there is a time for everything.”

Paul does write about “making the most of your time” in Ephesians 5:15. And I guess that’s pretty good advice. But do you know what I really think? God doesn’t care much about time either way. Heh, he’s got all of eternity. Jesus never seems rushed... and he knew he was on a deadline, too. Maybe its because he also knew that everything will happen at the appointed time. (Or, maybe because he didn't have to drive the Merritt). Hmmm.


trace said...

I took I 84 to a gig today. I drove back roads the entire way home. It took a bit longer, but what a lovely scenic ride through Litchfield County I had.

Sometimes we need to take the scenic route to slow down and enjoy life.

Anonymous said...

what a fun post.
we live in time...and some day we will live without it.
it makes me think that i can pay less attention to hurry and more attention to my Lord! sounds like a good deal to me!