THE MESSAGE NOW
Vol. 1, No. 22 – Monday, 5th December, 2016
(Eccl.9:11, Eph.5:15-16, Gen.47:8-9, Joel.2:25)
TAKING CHANCES ON TIME: THE INVALUABILITY OF TIME AND THE PROBLEM OF MAN
The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines time as: ……. ‘the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole’. It further defines it as: ‘what is measured in minutes, hours and days, etc.’
If there is any attribute of time subtly espoused by the foregoing definition, then that basic and surest attribute of time is constancy or consistency.
Time is the most constant, the most consistent, the most available and the most unfailing friend to man because it has never in history been on holiday when needed. Time always arrives right on time to meet with man. But man has always failed time either slightly or not even meeting it atall. This failure of man is probably the greatest curse of this generation.
Imagine what our world would have been if all or 75% of target-times have been met. A year (except a leap year) contains 365 days, 12 months, 52 weeks, 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes, and 31,536, 000 seconds.
If opportunity attends the path of man at the expiry of every 1,000 (one thousand) minutes per year, then in one year, man has been face to face with opportunity for a period of approximately 526 times. Unarguably, 526 times of opportunities is in excess of 365 days which make up a year.
Perhaps some minds’ argument might be that it is practically impossible for opportunities to be that prevailent or common. Then I contend sharply that such is the argument arising from less desiring, less ambitious and less inventive minds.
I argue further that as a matter of fact, creating and pursuing opportunities even where there is least or prospect of none is the delight of foresightful minds.
Alternatively, to passifysceptics, let the argument-bar be raised to 10,000 (ten thousand) minutes per opportunity. Even with such height, the result will yet be astonishingly high, being 52.56 or approximately 53 times per annum.
Further, opportunities are pearly-golden in nature; scarce for the uncreative and unoriginal thinker but easily accessible to and harnessed by the thoughtful, the productive and the insightful. As such, because of their pearly-golden character, opportunities require swift grabbing and effective using.
For the inventive and productive thinker, one golden opportunity reproduces a number of others. This means that 53 times of opportunity within one year is so high because of the replenishing effect of every single opportunity.
If therefore, the proximity and accessibility of opportunities to man is that high, why are most men still the same?
The answer is by no means existing in probability but in uncontestable aptness. How? If most men are not missing opportunity by reason of their continuing attitudes of failing time, then those opportunities (whether 526 or 53) within any year were all or largely misused by most men. This too, only happens when man fails to realize that time is a golden chance that must be swiftly taken.
The point being underscored here is a succinct one: making good use of time and the least chance otherwise known as opportunity has an unending, positive multiplier effect on life as a whole.
How much time has man got that even the least of it should be wasted? Charles Darwin once opined, ‘a man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life’. Are you shocked at Darwin’s unquestionable conclusion?
Time is of priceless essence and of unquantifiable and unqualifiable value that possession of echelons of wisdom, incomparable intelligence, or even the possession of all wealth and power will yet not compare with its power and overriding interests and influence.
Thus failing to pray when needed, convoluting times of evangelism with the times to be in personal communion with God, postponing a day’s assignment for the next, depriving time of its rightful attention and importance all conduce to make man a poor manager of time (and indeed) a waster. With time, such a man will eventually become a permanent enemy of time.
Do you have a prayer altar and/or prayer time(s) – place and moments of meeting with the Great king? Other religions certainly do with theirs. So, why not you?
Time and chance (be it the chance of opportunities or otherwise) most times are like fast-moving streams. Once they bid you bye, they seldom or never return again. Time and chance are life’s gift meant only for the eagerly-awaiting and the swiftly-prepared not for the lilylevered or the indolent.
No wonder, the Apostle Paul enjoins in one of today’s texts: ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil’.
I conclude therefore that:
There is no amount of most potent prayer or most powerful enchantment that can hasten or extend any time determined by the Almighty.
When God makes a promise to man without attaching a defined time for the fulfillment of that promise, it is the height of folly for that man to insert his own time. Such a man is a companion of worry and unnecessary disappointment.
Do not measure your success today by the greater success of another. It is probably their own time now not yours yet.
Whosoever is a poor manager of time will neither maintain success nor manage money effectively. And, I do hope that you know that apart from the Spirit of the Lord, money remains the sole lubricant of modern and contemporary times making its acceleration roll with effortless ease.
The coincident chance of contact of opportunity(s) with man is in itself an opportunity because of its rarity often factored by time.
He who fails time for no just cause will fail anything and disappoint anyone and everyone.
Apparently, the gear is now set in motion for 2017 – the year of winners. You may wish to ask yourself a most honest question. What opportunities were misused or not taken by you in 2016 due to poor management of time?
You must sincerely answer this question because the incoming year, 2017 is a year of arduous adherence to time and earnest prayer put into earnest action. Otherwise, you would spend 2017 laying petulant complaints at the doorstep of time for being too short.
For the indolent Christian, relying on God’s mercy is always the anthem. God’s mercy is good and indeed the best. But is that the reason for failing to play our part? For every indolent Christian who has a penchant for failing times and opportunities, hear the instructive counsel of the Preacher in Ecclesiastes 9:11.
It reads: ‘I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet the bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill, but time and chance happeneth to them all’.
Dearly beloved, did you see the reference to the phrase, ‘but time and chance happeneth to them all’? Hmmm! Even the wisest man that ever lived (King Solomon) recognized the place of time and chance. How about you and me?
Never fail to take your chance when it comes. Football matches are won or lost by teams on the basis of taking or failing to take chances. So also is the game of life. To every chance, there is a time allotted. Chances are like the breezy wind sweeping past at certain periods. Be prepared with your kite before the period. So that at the spur of that moment, your kite can fly highest.
Fail to criticise the shortness of time. For no matter what scientists and meteorologist claim about the lengthiness or shortness of a day or time, there is indeed no too short or too long a time to catch opportunities or hatch ideas into reality if we have been prepared ahead of time.
Indeed, as Jean de La Bruyere sharply argues: ‘those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity’. How so true!!!
I am about to run out of time with my old assignment. The new is already beckoning. No time to spare. How about you? Busy doing nothing?
If all assignments have been completed and nothing left to be done at the moment, then rise up and commune with your Maker. Alternatively, get your pen and paper ready, sit down and think your good thoughts through on that paper.
Great and deep thinkers always have a common but equally uncommon seat at the top. We shall meet there.
Hymn: Sweet Hour Of Prayer
I repent o Lord for wasting times and opportunities.
O God, I decree, that which I failed to accomplish in the last ten years, I shall accomplish them within the next ten months, in Jesus name.
O God, give me grace and strength to use my times and opportunities dutifully and meaningfully.
O God, give me special joy and sense of fulfillment for my work and the things I do.
Every power manipulating opportunities out of my hands, be cut off in the name of Jesus.