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Wasting Time

November 29, 2011

It seems that now that I am at college I am aware of how much time I waste. When I was at home I was constantly rushing around from place to place in my car or my parent’s car. I felt like I was spending half of my life in my car. Now that I am at college, I eat, study, hang out and sleep in the same place. Most places I go are within walking distance. As a result, since I don’t spend most of my time running around from place to place, I have a clearer view of how I spend my time.

     I find that at college I spend a lot more time on the computer than I used to. I check Facebook far more often than I should. I spend time watching guitarists and bands on YouTube. I check my email every day. I play a lot of Super Smash Brothers. Sometimes I just sit and don’t do anything. Sometimes I do stuff on the computer or elsewhere in a zombie-like way, without thinking. Sometimes I just aimlessly walk around my dorm, looking for “something to do.”

     I don’t want to come off as the hyperzealous, “don’t ever have leisure time” guy. But I feel like I waste more time than I should. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the things that I do. But I feel like I do them more than I should. My time on earth is limited. The Bible says to redeem the time, for the days are evil. In the same book, though, the Preacher says that the best thing a man can do is to simply enjoy life while it lasts. How can I reconcile these two commands? I don’t know.

     I feel like the worst part of my time-wasting is how it takes away from time I could be spending on serving God. I don’t want to be the Malvolio of Wheaton College, who spends all his time on “spiritual things” and is an obnoxious bore and does nothing for the kingdom of God. But I don’t want to waste my life either. If I die and go before God, I don’t want to have to say something like “Well, I didn’t serve you, I didn’t serve other, and I didn’t pray a whole lot, but I got to see some really cool YouTube videos.” I don’t want to look on my college years with regret and say “I wasted so much time on Facebook when I could have been doing better things.” I don’t want to not grow into a mature and wise man because I’ve been wasting too much time playing Smash.

     The other thing that bothers me about my time-wasting is how solipsistic it is. I sit by myself and listen to We Came As Romans songs on YouTube. Worse yet, I sit on Facebook and pretend to have a social life when in reality I’m just looking at pixels on a screen in my room. I have no problem with leisure activities, but I prefer them to be leisure activities in community. And I have no problem with solitary activities. Solitude is something that needs to be recovered in this day and time. But the activities that I often gravitate toward in solitude are not enlightening. I get good things out of reading or playing my guitar alone. I get nothing out of reading Facebook alone.

     In conclusion, I really don’t have a conclusion. I just think that we need to think more about how we use our time. Especially since the reason I wrote this article is so I would have an excuse to listen to Sigur Ros on the internet.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Katy Nix permalink
    November 30, 2011 3:04 am

    I imagine most people could relate to wasting time at some point in their life. I definitely can. The fact that you recognize time wasted is a step in the right direction. And creating a blog post about it is a great use of time. Hopefully others will be encouraged to be diligent with their time after reading this, as I am.

  2. D. Leach permalink
    November 30, 2011 3:49 am

    Using time wisely is a life-long concern, and battle. It’s a struggle never over. I think your instincts are right. I do believe no one will come to the end of his life thinking that he should have been on YouTube a whole lot more. On the other hand, I doubt many will approach their last days thinking they spent too much time in Scripture, good reading, an honest vocation, or with family and friends and church. I am old. I wish I could collect all my past wasted time into a big bundle and use it appropriately, but I cannot. You have wonderful opportunities as a young man, don’t let many facebook types of distractions cut too deeply into what is genuinely significant.

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