I just recently finished Ash Barker's book Making Poverty Personal: Taking the Poor as Seriously as the Bible Does. Ash Barker and his family are from Australia but moved to Bangkok, Thailand were they live and work in the Klong Toey slum, the largest slum in Bangkok. Overall I found the book to be a good read and it made some very good points. I want to share a little bit from the book's conclusion. Ash Barker oncludes in part with these words:
"The bigger houses, cars, and jobs for which people seem to sacrifice everything will not last. One of the saddest illustrations of this...is a story of a merchant banker who finally gave into his wife's nagging and took a day off work to spend with his teenage son. They spent the day sailing in Sydney harbor and, while it would be the only time they did this, the son was overjoyed. Then the merchant banker died suddenly of a heart attack a few weeks later. After the funeral, the son searched through his father's office diary and looked up the date of their outing. He found only these words, "Wasted day." Jesus' question comes to mind: "For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?" (Matt.16:26) The man had lost all perspective of what mattered and what would live on after he died.When I read these words I was reminded of something I heard Dr. Henry Cloud mention at a seminar a few months ago. Dr. Cloud said (I'm paraphrasing): "The only things we have been given are time and energy. We will be held accountable for these two things. How are we using them?"
The question we have to ask is, Where are we really investing our lives? We will be the tragic figures who invested our best time, energy and love into things that ended up literally in the trash?...Out treasure is our best time, energy, and resources. IF we do a quick inventory of how we spent the last week, Jesus would say that is what we really care about." (pgs.198-99)
I think Ash Barker and Dr. Henry Cloud are on to something. If we strip away everything we have all we are left with is time and energy. How we use these resources are important. When I look at my own life I see that I waste so much time doing things that will not last. Our lives are so busy and we leave no margin of time for others. "I would love to help but I don't have the time." This, along with many others, is a saying that is not uncommon in America.
This leads me to ask a few questions. Why do we not leave any margin of time to do things that will last and have eternal meaning? Some may even wonder how to make time. How do you manage your time and energy?