Ortberg discusses the concept of being a boat potato in chapter 2 of If You want to Walk on Water You’ve got to Get out of the Boat. He brings up the interesting point about gifts from God in our response to them.
1 The gift is so valuable it can’t be risked
2 The gift is so valuable it must be risked
The irony of the Christian life is when we did not know Christ, we used to risk everything. We’d throw ourselves into relationships, throw ourselves into debt, through ourselves into all types of things and come out of it just as dirty as ever…only to get up and look for the next abyss to jump into. And then we’d write a book about it in the form of facebook, text messages, or in my time vocally or on a lanline encouraging others ‘to get some of that too.‘ Converted: we play it safe and ‘stepping out on faith‘ is trying to be nice to someone who we used to be angry with….
And all the while TIME is running alongside of us saying “I’ve almost caught up with you.” I gave the 20s a little project to determine how they are spending their time a week and FILL OUT SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE THIS:
|8AM-9AM||texting||Yell at the dog||Sleep|
|and so on||“||“||“||“||“||Is it over?|
While in seminary I used to have to do this every semester in order to get a clear picture of what I was supposed to be doing (or perhaps how much time I was wasting) to keep everything in proper priority and perspective. [With two children I have found that only a prophet could fill it out.] Funny how a simple sheet like this was helpful not only for me but also my wife in terms of knowing just how much load a marriage covenant, a job in engineering, and a masters of divinity degree takes. It helped me see a whole where God has been is so gracious to provide solace to do what is necessary which still has its affects years later. It also helped me see what I can get done quickly even under pressure.
Time is a gift often wasted only doing the common things. A few years ago I reconciled that fulltime ministry is not yet a seed reaching maturity. So my fulltime vocation in engineering will have to remain my profession. Thus I had to make my 8 hour day be the place where my profession is heard clearly [insert play on words. T.Woods you’ll like that one I’m sure.] In other words I had to get to work doing the work while at work [that’s another one.] Or perhaps to put it plainly: I realized that if my 8 hour day 40 hour a week schedule is locked in, I might as well risk that time doing things that have eternal significance building the kingdom while I’m building buildings [ok that was another one, but it was constructed that way unintentionally, I do structural engineering for a living job.] Each day EVEN in the required things is time. And that is one gift that ought not be taken lightly. You use it even if you do not unwrap it.
Psalm 103:14 b He is mindful that we are but dust