Down the Drain

“It is neither fit for the land nor the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear (Luke 14:35)!”

A recent report estimated that there is roughly $1.8M in gold and $1.7M annually passing through the Swiss wastewater. (1) 70% of the world’s gold passes through the country’s refineries, much of this from chemical and medical industries. Just think of it, millions in precious metals are literally being flushed away by the Swiss. It should make anyone think that there has to be a better way to salvage this valuable commodity and not allow it to continually go down the drain and into the sewage. So often we allow a much more precious commodity to be flushed away and never reclaimed; our time.

When we perceive that we have limitless funds in this area we esteem it so lightly. Time “is a unique resource. It cannot be accumulated like money or stockpiled like raw materials. We are forced to spend it, whether we choose to or not, and at a fixed rate of 60 seconds per minute. It cannot be turned on and off like a machine or replaced like a man. It is irretrievable.” (2) It is worth reflecting on how much of this precious commodity do we allow to go down the drain.

Moses prayed that God would “teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12 NASB). Understanding our finite days should teach us to seek wisdom in how we spend our time so that it honors God. There is an acknowledgment in this that we are to be good stewards over this gift as much as any other gift of God. David confessed that all of his times were in God’s hands even before He was born (Psalm 31:14, 139:16). We never know how much time remains on our game clock so we are to play our best until the whistle blows (Luke 12:20, 1 Thessalonians 4:16). Paul wrote that Christians should redeem the time (Ephesians 5:15) especially in regards to our opportunities to share Christ with unbelievers (Colossians4:5). This should make us grasp that our time is not to be spent only our own pursuits but for God’s glory and to promote His kingdom.

We are all busy but naturally we don’t always prioritize our time properly. Martha was certainly spending her time on projects that were good but Jesus taught that she was missing a better use of her moments with Him (Luke 10:38-42). Do we do the same as Martha? In Mark 6:30-42 Jesus sought to get away for some rest and reflection with His disciples after they had returned from a mission. But before they could escape the crowds thronged to Him and the feeding of the five thousand commenced. As busy as Jesus was He made time for other people. What a difficult but worthy example the Master left for us to follow. Our time invested in others is well spent.

Ultimately, our view on time and how we will likely spend our allotment depends upon our view of eternity. If we really believe that this life is all there is then we should go for the gusto now (Luke 12:19). But if we really believe that there is a resurrection and judgment how we spend our time will determine how we spend eternity.

The Father of Eternity (Isaiah 9:6), Jesus, left His eternal glory to live out a brief life on earth (Philippians 2:5-7) to redeem us and to show us how we should live and serve. Like His sojourn here, we too have only a limited time under the sun to serve and to deposit treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:20, 2 Corinthians 5:10). Let us redeem the time.

“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear (1 Peter 1:17).”

  2. R. Alec Mackenzie, The Time Trap, McGraw Hill, McGraw Hill, New York, 1972, p. 2.

Billy Alexander is a member of the church of Christ in Jersey Village in Houston, TX. He and his wife Gwen both work at Hewlett-Packard where they met and have worked more than 25 years each. Billy enjoys teaching Bible several times each week at Jersey Village and Memorial church of Christ. Since 2008, his weekly article "Equipping the Saints" as run in the Jersey Village bulletin.