“How can I grow spiritually in 2019? — A shocking wake-up call for procrastinators!”
Perhaps entering this wide-open, full of days New Year you might think ‘This year I am going to devote more time to the Lord! I will read my Bible, pray, witness, memorize, meditate!’
Great goals! Nothing wrong with the goals. But don’t let all those empty square boxes on your calendar dupe you into thinking you have plenty of time. In fact, for most, even a 70 year lifespan yields far less fruitful hours for spiritual discipline than most imagine.
Someone once figured it out like this…
Taking that 70 year lifespan as a base, and 365 days in a year for ease of calculation (I’ll leave you to factor in the leap years!), this amounts to a 25,550 day lifespan. The average individual gets about 7.9 hours of sleep nightly… across these 25,500 ‘sleeps’ this amounts to 8,395 24-hour days spent asleep, reducing our waking count to 17,105 24-hour days.
Of course each of these ‘sleeps’ requires a certain amount of ‘getting-ready-for-bed’ and ‘waking-up-for-the-day’ time. Tasks such as bathing, dressing, brushing, and whatever all that stuff is that ladies in particular do! Essential time for her, down time for him as he taps his foot in the hall. Then there’s the dressing up or down through the day for a gala event, or the yard work. Altogether over the 70 year lifespan this eats up another 730 24-hour days! Eating, over the sink, at home (including cooking and wash-up), cued in a drive-thru, or at the Olive Garden, accounts for a further 2,190 24-hour days!
To pay for all this you must have a job, perhaps not every day but most likely for five days of every seven. Over your career work time uses up another 5,840 24-hour days. On average we spend about the same amount of time commuting to work, doing errands, and other travel as we do eating, 2,190 24-hour days. Unless you’re sick: 1,460 24-hour days!
All of this we find exhausting and by day’s end we may opt to crash by the TV or internet, or take a Saturday to “go fishin’” – the average for these comes to 2,920 and 1,643 24-hour days respectively.
What are we left with for spiritual pursuits over the course of our allotted ‘threescore and ten’ (Psalm 90:10): 183 24-hour days in a lifetime, or just 2.6 days in any given year — that’s just a tad over 62 hours!
Oh yeah, and then there’s the years you’ve already lived!
“Teach us to number our days,” wrote David, “that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 9:12)
“…be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matt. 10:16) cautioned Jesus.
“Be very careful, then, how you live,” Paul urged, “—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16).
“Be alert and of sober mind.” Peter demanded, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 58).
Set your good goals, but get on them right away — today!
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