I take pride in being a prompt person. Whether I’m headed to a doctor’s appointment, a lunch meeting with a friend, or simply a pre-scheduled time to leave the house for a movie, being on time is very important to me. At the NFLPA, various staff members often imitate the phrase I coined: “What time does this 3 p.m. meeting start?”
I’m not sure exactly when I became so obsessed with time, I just know that it’s one of the few resources that cannot be recovered. It was seven years ago that one of my mentors asked me the question, “How much is your time worth? If you had to put a dollar amount on an hour of your time, what is it worth to you?” By answering this question, I am better able to make decisions when it comes to deciding what activities I spend the bulk of my days engaged in.
Now, maybe it’s just me, but it seems that everyone else doesn’t share my level of conviction when it comes to being on time. Recently, I was at lunch with someone who scheduled a meeting with me and showed up 15 minutes late! The person could see my disappointment with their lateness, and actually had the audacity to say, “You need to relax! Life is too short. When I told you to meet me at noon, I meant noon-ish!” Needless to say, that individual will be hard-pressed to get another meeting with me.
This got me to thinking, even though we live in a culture of “ish” we don’t serve an “ish” God. I spoke recently to a group of young people and during the Q&A time, there was a question about sexual purity. The question was, “What does sexual immorality actually mean?” They began to list a number of activities and wanted to know if each action was off limits in God’s eyes. Basically, it all boiled down to, “How far can I go and still be compliant?” The overall consensus from the group was that as long as they didn’t physically have sex, then they felt like they were OK. One guy even said it’s “technically not sex” (culture of “ish”).
Ephesians 5:15-17 says:
“Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
Here Paul is telling us, when you live in a culture of “ish” it’s not enough to ask whether an action is right or wrong. He’s urging us to ask, “What is the wise thing to do?” And how exactly do we know what is the wise thing to do? Three questions we should ask ourselves:
- In light of my past, what is the wise thing to do?
- In light of my current circumstances, what is the wise thing to do?
- In light of my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do?
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:13-14:
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
While you may not be as obsessive about being on time, I pray that we all will be obsessed with knowing God’s will, following His ways, and obeying His Word.
— Don Davis
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.