The older I get, the more urgently I tend to look at life. I don’t know if it’s a matter of staring down mortality or simply a maturing, but I am struck by how much more intentional I am compelled to live each day as I go through life. When I was younger, I would fill my spare time reading science fiction or watching television. Neither of these activities are a part of my life any longer. Engaging in anything that does not in some way further the mission of Christ seems entirely futile to me. The common caveat to interject here would be for me to say that this is what works for me and isn’t something that someone has to adopt for themselves to live a more Christ-like life. That may be true, but I think it’s too easy to dismiss out of hand the possibility that we all should be taking more responsibility for how we are spending the time God has entrusted to us.
As we were each created to do specific work assigned to us by God (Ephesians 2:10), we should be diligent in making certain we accomplish what He has given us to do. These are the activities that must come first in our lives. Any time we are spending that causes us to neglect our role in the Kingdom is time spent not living in the will of God. As Jesus said, we should seek His Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33); if we do this, everything else will fall into its proper place. The paradox of this is that if we are truly seeking God first in every area of our lives, there will be no “left over” time with which to pursue things outside of His mission.
Committing our lives fully to Jesus will cause us to fall so deeply in love with Him that we will be unable to think of doing anything other than serving Him. So while there is no Biblical mandate against engaging in frivolous activity, I submit that a life fully surrendered to Christ will have little time for it. What does it mean to surrender our lives to Him? It means to give Him control over everything we watch, hear, say, and do. As we examine our lives with that in mind, are there things we should stop doing, things that are preventing us from becoming the person He created us to be?
I don’t know what stands between you and total surrender. I’ve still got my own time wasters to deal with, and I’m guessing you do as well if you are honest with yourself. I’m not anti-TV or anti-Science Fiction, but I am anti-anything that distracts us from following Jesus. I’m anti-anything that blinds us to the urgency of reflecting the love of God to people around us who are hurting. I’m anti-anything that keeps us from caring for the poor and freeing the oppressed. There is no time to spend on foolish things. The clock is ticking, and we are responsible for how we spend this day. Let’s maximize every moment for the Kingdom of God.