Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wasting Time in the Weeds

“I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.  I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” (Proverbs 24:30-34 NIV)

“It’s so easy to waste time in the weeds,” a former member of my ministry board used to say.  It would drive him crazy when meetings would go off the topic at hand into peripheral matters that had little or no connection to what we were discussing.  He was a great manager of his time and didn’t want to waste it.  

You don’t have to look far in our culture to find people spending a lot of time in the weeds.  I admit I find myself there more than I would like. Playing games online or on the phone, Facebook, television and movies, frivolous conversations with friends.  Vast amounts of time invested with little gain in return.  

I often challenge students to make the most of their college years. Instead of focusing solely on their academics or just hanging out with friends and having a good time, I encourage them to invest their time in growing spiritually and pouring what they are learning into the lives of other students.  I don’t want them to look back years later and realize they spent much of their college career wasting time in the weeds.  

The writer in Proverbs is talking about people applying their energies, their time, to things that are important rather than wasting it selfishly.  In the case of the sluggard, it was through laziness, but one who wastes time isn’t necessarily lazy.  I have seen people put a lot of time and energy into frivolous activity.  It is the focus of their energies that is the problem.  

We have one life to live and our time is limited.  Today, consider how much of it you are spending in the weeds.  It may seem enjoyable there, but what better, more meaningful things could you be doing with your time?

© Jim Musser 2017

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