Serial Reading of Young People’s Problems Chapter 18 – The Use of Time

Serial Reading of Young People’s Problems

Chapter 18 – The Use of Time

“If you saw a man standing by the shore, and flinging gold coins and diamonds into the sea — you would say he was insane. Yet God sees many people continually doing something very like this.” They don’t waste “gold and precious stones… but minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years of time — possessions which are of greater worth than any coins and gems of earth!”

I cannot read that without whispering a sober, “Amen.” With each day, I become more aware of the precious moments of times past, and the all too few remaining moments in the dwindling future. To the young, Ps. 90:12 means so little—“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” But its lesson is not far off. Miller rightly says, “If we knew the intrinsic value of time to us, we would not allow a moment of it ever to be wasted.”

Miller equates “time with wise economy, [that we] not [squander] any of it.” “There is a great deal more resting than is necessary.” Yes, “everyone must rest,” but “God gives blessings to his beloved in sleep — blessings of renewal of strength” for the waking hours. Time “must be given to eating, to physical exercise, to home fellowships,” and more. “Even in hours of recreation, …fragments of time may be filled with little acts of helpfulness or kindness.”

“A writer tells of an English nobleman, who, when he went over his estate, always carried acorns in his pocket; and when he found a bare spot, he would plant one of them. By and by there would be a tree growing on the place, adorning it. So we may plant on every empty space of time, a seed of something beautiful, which will not only be an adornment — but will prove a blessing to others. It is one of the finest secrets of life, to know how to redeem the minutes from waste, and to make them bearers of blessing, of cheer, of encouragement, of good, to others.”

“No time given to service of love is wasted. …Much time is wasted in useless occupation, in doing things which are not worthwhile. No sin is worthwhile — rather, it is the sowing of a curse, not only in the world — but also in the heart of him who does the sinful thing.”

“Then, there are other things which are not regarded as sins — but which are of no value to anyone. You would better have spent the time in sleep or in sheer idleness, than in going through worthless books.” But, “There are good novels, great works of fiction, which teach splendid lessons, which show magnificent character and noble conduct, which inspire their readers to truer, better living.”

Miller’s words direct us to think upon our own modern era. The ever-growing array of time-wasting entertainments and inane amusements make his closing comments more significant: “No problem that comes before us is more important than this — what to do with time. It is a young people’s problem, too; because in youth, if ever, we learn how to live. The habits we form then, will go with us to the end of our days. If we learn then the value of moments, and form the habit of giving every minute something worthy to keep — we shall have found the secret of living fully,” full of days as Job, Abraham, Isaac, and David teach us (Job 42:17, Gen. 25:8; 35:29, 1 Chr. 23:1).

Find the full text on Grace Gems at: 

Chapter 19 – The Making of a Man

(to be continued)

— Joe LoGiudice, Principal