(J. R. Miller, “The Sacredness of Opportunity“)
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16
“Gather up the fragments that are left over. Let nothing be wasted!” John 6:12
“Time is short!” 1 Corinthians 7:29
Time is made up of golden minutes–not one of which we should allow to be wasted! The Master said that for every idle word that men speak–they must give account. This can be no less true of idle minutes or hours.
Most of us live as if we had a thousand years to stay here in this world! We loiter away the golden hours of our little days–as if the days were never to end! We do not see how swiftly the sun is whirling toward his setting, while our work is but half done, our task perhaps scarcely begun!
We fritter away days, weeks, months–not noticing how our one little opportunity of living in this world is being worn off, as the sea eats away a crumbling bank until its last shred is gone! We set slight value on time, forgetting that we have only a hand-breadth of it–and then comes eternity!
Many of us fail to appreciate the value of ‘single days’. “A day is too short a space,” we say, “that it cannot make much difference if one, just one, is wasted–or idled away in pleasure!” Yet the days are links in a chain, and if one link is broken–the chain is broken. In God’s plan for our life–each little day has its own load of duty.
How these lost days shame us–as they turn their reproachful eyes upon us, out of the irrevocable past!
Many people are wasteful of time. They fail to realize its value. They appear to have it in such abundance–that they dream it can never end. They do not know that a day lost–may mean misfortune or failure for them sometime in the future. They do not know that squandered hours, minutes spent in idleness–may cost them the true success of their life, bringing failure or disaster!
They should not make the mistake of imagining they have so much time–that they can afford to let days or hours or even minutes be wasted. They cannot afford to lose one golden minute of any day. We do not know what momentous issues, affecting all our future–are involved in any quietest hour of any common-place day. There is ‘a time for everything’–but the time is short, and when it is gone, and the thing is not done–it never can be done!
What you make of your life–you must make in a few years at the most; for the human span is short–and any day may be your last one! Every day that passes–leaves life’s margin a little less for each of us. Our allotment of time is ever shortening!
There are a great many things it is not worth our while to do. Some of us spend our days in poor trivialities which bless no one, and which will add no lustre to our crown.
Therefore, waste no opportunity! Squander no moment! There is just time enough for you to live your life well–if you spend every moment of it in earnest, faithful duty. One hour lost–will leave a flaw. A life thus lived in unbroken diligence and faithfulness, will have no regrets when the end comes.
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