I’ve been thinking about “time” during the past month or so. I’ve been thinking about how I use it, waste it, and what God desires for me to do with the time I have left on this planet. I’ve come to realize that too much of my time has been spent doing things that have no value whatsoever. The time I’m speaking about is time that has been spent on amusement, boredom, and a lack of comfort with “quiet time.” In the day in which we live there are an endless number of things to fill the quiet spaces we have each day. Things like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat, and watching television are creativity killers and rob us of opportunities to grow our relationships with the Lord and others.
I read an article last week about Peter Higgs, the British physicist who just received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Science. Dr. Higgs is an atheist, we don’t “believe” the same things when it comes to God and how our creation came into being, but I’m grateful for Dr. Higgs and how the Lord has used what I read about him to challenge me to examine my life. Dr. Higgs has never used the internet, he has never sent an email, doesn’t own a television, and rarely uses a cell phone. The reason he doesn’t use them is because he sees them as distractions.
Dr. Higgs also sees the fast paced, hurry-up climate in the day in which we live as a deterrent for being able to accomplish what he did in 1964, identifying the mechanism by which subatomic material acquires mass, what is now known as the Higgs-Boson particle. He said: “It’s difficult to imagine how I would ever have enough peace and quiet in the present sort of climate to do what I did in 1964.”
I’ve been thinking about Dr. Higgs and his ability to rid himself of distractions so that he can focus on what matters most to him in life. Does the use of my time throughout the week reflect what matters most to me? Do I spend more time amusing myself, filling quiet spaces with meaningless activity, looking at social media because I’m bored, instead of utilizing the wonderful gift of time to do that which is really meaningful? Do I spend more time in God’s Word than I do on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or just clicking link after link on the internet to fill my time? Do I spend more time looking into the faces of friends, strangers, and family than I do staring into the screen of my phone or tablet?
I don’t know how much more time I have and neither do you, but I know that I want whatever amount of time it is to be spent in more meaningful ways than staring at a screen. What could be accomplished if we would simply cut our “screen time” in half? We would have more time to read God’s Word, more time to pray for someone who is sick, depressed, or going through an excruciatingly painful trial. We would have more time to take a friend to lunch, without our phones sitting on the table next to us. We would have more time to volunteer to help someone in need. We could accomplish something much greater than the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle, we could discover and experience the blessings of God as we share our lives with others.