Don’t be stupid

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by Major Terry CamseyYou don’t believe it until you experience it for yourself, but – contrary to pre-retirement expectations ­ there is not as much extra free time as may have been thought.

Oh, there are some nice benefits, like taking your time over a breakfast cup of tea while keeping up with endless rehashes of what we are told is the latest news. It’s also kind of nice to have the option of waking and deciding to turn over for an extra half-hour before getting up. I say option, because in our household, we have for so many years been used to getting up at 6.30 a.m. that our bodies will not let us forget it.

I don’t know about you, but I feel very guilty when I “do nothing,” knowing that there is much I would like to do and regretting later that I have not done it. It is, of course, an impossible situation to resolve. I cannot imagine completing all that I would like to do and having time to sit and “twiddle my thumbs.” There is always something else to do, or to follow on from what currently needs to be done, and I guess it will be that way until the Lord decides to take me home.

Years ago, when we worked in New York and commuted from Long Island, there were many days when the inclement weather foiled our travel plans. Sometimes, it was after trudging through two to three feet of snow to the train station at Wantaugh, sitting in the train in the bitter cold, then being told by a conductor that “this train is going nowhere today, gentlemen, (you) may as well go home!”

On many other occasions, however, we found ourselves on the freeway only to find that frozen road conditions were bringing the traffic almost to a standstill. I remember one particular day, being stuck in stalled traffic and calculating that I was spending the equivalent of three working days sitting in the car for the privilege of working five days! It was a wake-up call for me, especially in light of research that suggests people spend 31% of their lives sleeping…25% working…12% watching television or engaged in some other diversion… 10% on dressing and personal care…8% eating…8% traveling.

In fact, someone took the time to calculate that, if you are 35 years of age, and you live until you are 71, you have only 500 actual days to live if you disregard the time spent sleeping! Isn’t that a sobering thought?

It certainly causes you to think about how you want to spend your time, and I’ll tell you, the older you get the more precious time is. So much to do and so little time left to do it.

Time is such a precious gift, yet look at the way we use it…we spend time, waste time, kill time, lose time…

If that suggests anything, it is surely that we need to value time and examine how we use it. In corps situations, that can be even more critical if the Body is to make an impact in the community for Christ. The difference between growth and decline for many corps can lie in where the limited time and energy is directed. “Does this activity (expenditure of time) help us to further our mission (purpose for existing as a church) and move us towards achieving our vision (mission accomplished with excellence)?” is a good question to ask of each and every activity.

Another follow-up question might be, “If this is not furthering the mission or stretching towards the vision, can the activity be made to do so?” And, finally, “If not, wouldn’t we be better off putting our time and effort into something that does?

They’re not bad questions to ask of every activity a corps undertakes. Ephesians 5:16-17 (CEV) has words of advice worth pondering:

“These are evil times, so make every minute count.

Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do.”

FOCUS – Jason’s smile

FOCUS – Jason’s smile

A few days ago, when I attempted to leave home for work, I discovered my keys

Suited for Service

Suited for Service

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