Don’t waste time and any opportunities

Published 5:50 pm Friday, October 30, 2015

It was a lovely Friday evening at our local football game and things were going well; our team was winning as Gale and I sat in the midst of family and friends.  What a great way to relax and get away from the pressures of life!  To add to it all, there was plenty of food available, including a great South Georgia specialty–boiled peanuts.  Madeline was enjoying her stash of the salty treat, but she was struggling since her hands were red and sore from previous exposure to the weather.  With the brine from the peanuts causing her a lot of discomfort, Papa came to her aid!  I had a clean handkerchief in my pocket that I gave her to dry her hands on and reduce her pain.  She gladly took the soft dry fabric and started rubbing her hands on it, but what happened next I did not expect.  In an instant, with no hesitation in her motions, she tossed my handkerchief between the bleachers where it disappeared into the dark recesses underneath never to be seen by me again.  Granted, it was only an inexpensive piece of cloth, but I had full intentions of getting it back to be washed for later use, not thrown away while it was still in good condition.  But it was fine—especially since it was her.

We live in a throw-away society.  Many products that we used to take in for repair are now thrown away and replaced by new ones.  It is probably more cost effective to take that route today, but it makes it difficult for me at times to discard something that looks perfectly good on the outside, but has a malfunctioning part on the inside that will cost almost as much to fix as replacing the whole thing.  Perhaps that explains my appreciation for super glue, duct tape, and caulk!

We live in a constantly changing world in which, as I grow older, I have increasing challenges adapting to, which means I will have to get used to disposing of some things that could once be economically repaired.

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While things in our material world are disposable and replaceable, we must remember the value that God has placed on the hearts and souls of humankind and how worth reaching out to with His love they are.  His heart’s desire is for all to avoid eternal destruction by believing upon Him and accepting His gift of eternal life.  In 2 Peter 3:9 we find that “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (New International Version).  Here are a couple of things that we cannot afford to throw away if we are interested in conveying God’s message to those in need:  time and opportunity.

Time is a valuable commodity that, if we are not careful, can be easily squandered, gaining nothing of eternal value.  As we waste time by being consumed by selfish interests only, we can miss out on the most productive opportunities to share with others what God can do in their lives.

God is in the business of taking lives that are in dire disrepair and making them new and productive for Him.  Those who know Him have the responsibility of helping them find their way to Him.  We must strive diligently, with God’s help, not to throw away the time and opportunities that He gives us to be used by Him to share His message of eternal hope.