How will you choose to spend the next year?

Published 2:18 am Saturday, December 31, 2016

I like to give calendars as gifts at Christmas, especially to our elderly family members. It symbolizes my heart’s desire that they will celebrate next Christmas with us too.

Each blank square on a calendar announces each new day. As the author of “Anne of Green Gables,” L.M. Montgomery, has written, “Every day is a new beginning with no mistakes in it yet.”

Every day is a gift from God, perhaps that’s why it’s called the present. We only have today to spend our time. There’s no way to know what the future holds tomorrow or next week.

This gift of time has been compared to a currency. “Yesterday is a cashed check; tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is cash in hand so use it – invest it,” writes John Edmund Haggai.

Ben Franklin once said, “Remember time is money.” Thomas P. Murphy advises,   “Minutes are worth more than money. Spend them wisely.” Pulitzer-prize winning author Annie Dillard has written, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”

Researchers have compiled interesting information on how people spend their time. Keep in mind the data describes the average person, which, of course, means the numbers will vary for some of us.

Two years of our lives will be spent waiting in lines. We will spend a total of four years doing housework. The time we stop at traffic signals comes to six months. On average, we use one year of our lives searching for misplaced objects. I think I’ve searched that long for one object.

Typically, eating requires six years during a lifetime. Returning phone calls takes two years and reading junk mail wastes eight months. I have to wonder how researchers determined a person spends seven years in the bathroom.

Consider these quotes about time. “Time only seems to matter when it’s running out.” Another author put it this way, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” I really like this one. “Time is God’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.”

Finding time for God in my life seems a constant challenge. How about you? To have a personal relationship with God means more than going to Sunday School and worship services. It’s quiet time alone with Him in prayer and Bible reading. One of my favorite authors, Ken Boa, has said, ‎”The key to trusting God is knowing Him, and the key to knowing Him is the time we spend walking with Him day by day.”

I’ve found time for God in some unlikely places. The lobby of a doctor’s office gives me an opportunity to read a New Testament I carry with me. I have prayed while washing dishes and silently talked to God while waiting in lines.

Someone once said, “If you’re too busy for God, you’re too busy.” Remember God’s promise to us when you need to find time for Him, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8 NKJ).


– Jan White is an award-winning columnist. She can be reached at