Wasted Time

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Sometimes it is strange the things that make one nostalgic and awaken childhood memories.  A couple of weeks ago David Cassidy died at age 67.  Most people today have little or no recollection of this pop icon and teen idol.  However, in the early 1970’s few people in America were better known or more popular.

David Cassidy was a pop singer who was catapulted to fame by his starring role on a television show called The Partridge Family.  “Cassidymania” was an international phenomenon.  His face appeared on lunchboxes, posters, and t-shirts.  His photograph was constant cover material for dozens of magazines.  His concerts sold-out stadiums such as the Houston Astrodome and Madison Square Garden in mere hours.  Some compared his fame at the time to the Beatles or Elvis Presley.  Sadly, for Cassidy, his later life, like that of most rock stars, was marked by hardships, most self-inflicted – multiple divorces, bankruptcy, alcoholism, and arrests.

My most vivid memory about David Cassidy comes from the playground of my elementary school.  During recess a classmate of mine named Robbie would mimic Cassidy, singing his songs and dancing, while girls by the dozens would circle him, screaming and tossing nickels and dimes at him.  If these school girls could not see their favorite star in person, they made do with this comical imitation.

What possible spiritual significance does this have?  I must confess that my heart was actually touched by a news report about David Cassidy’s death.  According to his daughter who was with him when he died, his last words were, “So much wasted time.”  His final words struck me as profound.  It is sad any time someone comes to the end of their life with regret such as this filling their thoughts.

Moses, in Psalm 90, wrote, “So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”  How can we ensure that our days are not wasted, but rather used wisely?  How can we come to the end of our life without looking back over “so much wasted time?”

Recognize that our days are limited in number.  James wrote that our life is a vapor “that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away” (Js. 4:14).  We understand that our finances are limited, so we budget our money and spend carefully.  Our days should be employed the same way.  Just as we try to stretch a dollar, we should strive to get the most out of our time.  Pay attention to how you spend your time.  Put down the cell phone.  Turn off the television set.  Do something productive that matters.

Understand that some things are more important than others.  People are more important than things.  God is more important than people.  Yet when it comes to our time, we often put things first rather than last on our list of priorities.  Our house, our yard, our car, our clothes, our toys, “which all are to perish with the using” (Col. 2:22), too often receive the lion’s share of our time.  Relationships matter.  Invest your time in your marriage, your children, your friends, your church.  The Lord matters most.  Give time to the Bible, to prayer, to service, to worship.  “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Mt. 6:20).  “Live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for the blessed hope” (Ti. 2:12, 13).

Realize that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (II Cor. 5:10).  Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord.  The lives we have are given to us by God, and He will someday ask for an accounting.  We need His love to guide our aims.  We need His word to lead us in the paths of righteousness.  We need Christ’s forgiveness for our sin and unfaithfulness.

Be wise.  A life lived for the glory of God and the good of others will not end with a regrets over “so much wasted time.”