Have you noticed how much time we spend in trivial activities, things that really do not have any lasting value? Many of us can waste away hours in front of the television, others search endlessly on the internet practically lost as they skip from one site to another. There are those people who love to shop and will spend an entire day looking for an appliance or article of clothing. Although we all need down time and the opportunity to take a break from the stresses of work and domestic responsibilities, it can be surprising how much time we can waste on insignificant activities.
Sometimes, too, we can squander time on meaningless thoughts and impossible dreams. We may aspire to have the life of a celebrity with all the riches and fame but know in our hearts that it will never come true. The supermarket checkout racks are crammed with magazines that feature pictures of attractive Hollywood personalities with stories of their latest wedding or the party they attended. How do we discover what is significant?
Our thought lives can lead us into dissatisfaction with our present circumstances – we want more, so we make up a pretend life which serves as a hollow substitute for the real thing.
For instance, some women enjoy reading romance novels which may be fine on occasion, but they can be addictive. Some have suggested that these types of books correspond to the attraction men can have for graphic depictions of sex which can also be addictive.
Our modern society, it seems, gives us endless opportunities to waste our time and focus on the insignificant. I recall reading a story of a young man, many years ago, who had been hired to cut down trees. The first day he cut down 10, but on the second day he cut down 9, even though he worked just as hard. On the third day, he pushed himself and yet only cut down 8 trees. The following day, he arrived early and worked even harder, but he only managed to cut down 7 trees. The next day, he arrived even earlier and exerted all his energy. An experienced logger passed by and noticed the young man chopping furiously and asked, “Why don’t you stop and sharpen your axe?” “I can’t, I’m too busy chopping down trees,” he responded.
This young man was not willing to take the time to correct the problem, so he continued on, wasting his energies.
Perhaps, as you are reading this, you are reflecting on your own life, and how you have wasted much of it. The Bible, God’s word, is the guide for our lives and can gives us the hope we need to overcome the insignificant. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8. God cares for you and loves you – he really does have a plan for your life.
You are no doubt familiar with this verse from the Bible: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not die but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Christ, who was perfect, accepted death on a cross to take away all the bad things you have done.
Don’t waste your life any longer! Don’t be satisfied with the trivial! Today, take the most important step, the one toward God, through Jesus Christ, and find the meaning and purpose you have been searching for.
It’s never too late to allow God to direct you and give your life significance.
Simon Gibson was a former MLA for Abbotsford/Mission and has served on Abbotsford Council. He was an instructor/professor at Trinity Western University and UFV. He and his wife Joy attend church in Abbotsford.