A few weeks ago, the world lost a beloved sports journalist when TNT’s Craig Sager died at the age of 65. Sager is most well-known for his flashy suits, his infamous sideline interviews, and his jovial locker room banter with NBA players and coaches. In 2014, Sager was diagnosed with leukemia, and his cancer went into remission the following year. The sports world celebrated a victory for one of the good guys and looked forward to him continuing to be a staple at NBA arenas. In 2016, he was told that his cancer had returned and he had less than six months to live. Throughout his treatment, he continued to work, and he was on the sideline for his first NBA Finals this year when the Cavaliers came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors. Appropriately, it was one of the most memorable matchups in NBA history, and Sager was there to witness it all.
In July, Sager was honored with the Jim Valvano Award for Perseverance due to his courageous fight against a terminal illness. The award was presented at the ESPY awards by Vice-President Joe Biden, and then Sager spoke about his fight and some of his experiences. I watched the speech again recently, and something he said struck me light a bolt of lightning. He said, “What is time really…time is something that cannot be bought, it cannot be wagered with God, and it is not in endless supply. Time is simply how you live your life.”
Those three descriptions of time are incredibly significant – “it cannot be bought, it cannot be wagered with God, and it is not in endless supply.” James 4:14 tells us that life “is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away,” and in Psalm 39:4-8 (NLT) David says, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”
Life is short, and we should take advantage of every day and every moment we have. As we enter this New Year, here are three ways that we can make better use of our time and use it in a way that truly brings glory to God.
Develop Spiritual Time
Our daily grind can be torturous, and we simply lose sight of what we should be teaching our family. We are blessed each day to wake up, and we should be carving out specific times to be spiritually strengthened. One way to accomplish this goal is setting aside prayer and devotional time with our families. This may be uncomfortable to begin, but it will be the most uplifting time of the day. It will also be something that may be passed on to the next generations of our families.
From time to time we like to clean out our houses and get rid of things that are useless; we throw away the clutter. Simply put, we need to do this with our lives. We should get rid of the things that cause us to waste time and have no redeeming value. Sometimes we must step away and determine what things are worth our time, energy, and resources. The other things can be put away.
Imagine if we could take back all the hours we have spent worrying about things that were beyond our control. Our time on earth is so limited, so why spend time being stressed and discouraged? This is not to say we shouldn’t hold ourselves accountable and be good stewards of things that we have, but we can’t spend our whole lives worrying. Jesus tells us that people of faith don’t live that way (Matthew 6:25-34).
Life is difficult, and it isn’t as simple as just hoping away the hardships. But please remember that “time cannot be bought, it cannot be wagered with God, and it is not in endless supply.” This year let’s develop more spiritual time with our families, de-clutter our lives, and finally defy discouragement and live the life that God has blessed us with! It will be a tremendous blessing in this New Year.