Imagine if you, one Saturday, woke up at 6:00 AM. Your mother says that you will be having a family dinner at 6:000 PM, so if you want to finish any projects today, you have twelve hours. Instead of starting your day with a bang, you watch TV until 9:00. How would the rest of your day go? How much would you get done?

Not only would you have wasted three hours of your day, but you would have very little motivation to get stuck into all the worthwhile projects you wanted to do over the rest of the day.

If you do the maths, you’ll see that is exactly what the stereotypical teenager is doing! After some research on the internet, I estimated that I could probably expect to live to be about 85. In other words, in 70 years, I have a good chance of being dead. That doesn’t leave much time for dilly-dallying.

Society expects teenagers to party through the teen years, not really accomplishing anything worthwhile, just having fun. I’m often tempted to waste my life like that myself. But I don’t think we realize how much of our lives we waste this way.

If we waste away our childhood and our teen years, doing nothing of much importance, we’re whittling away the first 25% of our lives, just as you whittled away the first 25% of your day watching TV. There’s no reason to imagine you will be able to pull yourself out of the habit of wasting your life once you hit adulthood, than you would be able to reconstruct your day after watching TV until 9:00. We can’t afford to waste our lives.

My family had a discussion about this (in which we built that 9:00 AM analogy together) after reading Psalm 39

“LORD, make me to know my end; and what is the measure of my days; That I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths; and my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapour.”

Psalm 39:4-5 [NKJV]