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What Do We Do With It All?

David Cassidy, better known by some as Keith Partridge, was a famous actor, singer and song writer in the 70s. As some stars do, David had a rough go at life. Before his fall he was twice bankrupt, had been through several marriages, numerous DUIs and on November 27, 2017, he died of liver failure. His daughter, Katie Cassidy, reported that his last words were, “So much wasted time.”  She went on to say, “This will be a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love [and] to never waste another minute.”

What do we do with it all? All of our time. We are born thinking we have so much time, and we near the end of our days thinking quite the opposite. The life expectancy of an average American in 2015 was 78 years. That comes out to 937 months, 4,080 weeks, 28,564 days, 685,525 hours and 41,131,506 minutes. On average, we spend 26.9 years of our 78 sleeping. If you work 40 hours a week from age 20 to 65, not accounting for vacation or holidays, you work 10.7 years of your life. If you spend 1.5 hours a day eating then you spend 4.9 years of your life eating. 78 years is whittled down to 35.5 years if you take out sleeping, working and eating. So what are you going to do with what you have left of it?

Job said, “Man, who is born of woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil” (14:1). James puts it more poetically, “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (4:14). Considering where we are in our lives at the close of another year is helpful for putting things into perspective. David said, “LORD, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am” (Psa. 39:4). And again, “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psa. 90:12).

It is easy to be in coast mode. You are just going through the days in auto pilot. When we live that way, we are not thinking about where we are going or what we are doing with the time that is given to us. We eat it up with Netflix binging and things that, in the end, won’t matter. Solomon said, “Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecc. 2:11). Even though he had done many marvelous things, it was nothing in comparison to his relationship and obedience to God.

If you were to think about your last words, what would you want them to be? Full of regret at time wasted or full of hope to hearing of those around you? We are subject to time. Fill yours with good deeds, and you will find rest.