By Rachel Hauck
There are 168 hours in a week. And how we spend our time is actually something we will give account of when we stand before the Lord — which we all will eventually – and make a huge difference in who you are and who you’ll become.
While entertainment is a legitimate life pleasure, most of us have elevated it to unworthy lofty levels.
Especially teens. No judgment here. Just an observation.
It’s just so easy, isn’t it, to seek entertainment, distractions? When I was a teen, we had cable TV but other than CBS, NBC and ABC, TBS was the biggest viewing alternative.
We had phones. (Come on, now, I’m not that old…) But I had to share it with the rest of the family.
We had records.
We had books. (Yay!)
We had parties and get-togethers, beach outings.
As far as entertainment, those things were it.
We didn’t have personal cell phones. Or an iPad, iPod, or an iAnything. We didn’t have personal computers or gaming systems like Game Boy, Nintendo or Sony Playstation.
While some of those things have been around for nearly 30 years, the notion that everyone must have them is not all that old.
“You don’t have a smart phone?” It’s almost like the person lives in the Dark Ages.
While I love gadgets, love technology, love toys, the demand on our time and attention is approaching like an unheralded tsunami. We’re becoming overwhelmed, consumed.
Your time is important. No one or no thing other than God and your parents should have a demand on your time.
Your affections – what you love to do – should be disciplined and governed by Godliness.
Listen now, I’m not talking about being perfect or not having any fun. God loves fun! But we need balance. We need priorities.
As teens, you have more free time than you realize. Even busy teens with school and sports, or music, or youth church, have a good amount of free, indiscriminant time. And less responsibilities than you will have once you’re in college and starting a career.
Now is the time to develop a life in God. Become a reader and doer of God’s Word.
Psalm 119:11 says:
“Your Word I’ve hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
How do you make sure you know God? Read and pray His Word.
What about worship? Anyone can sing their own song to the Lord. If you’re like me when I was a teen, I loved music.
Read the Word, sing the Word. That’s how you get it in your heart. You don’t have to be a musician or even a good singer. God loves the sound of your voice.
Song of Solomon 2:14 says:
“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret place of the steep pathway,
Let me see your form,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your form is lovely.”
Know what Jesus is saying here? “I want to hang out with you! You’re cool. Good looking. But… you have to carve out time to get with Me. It’s not easy. It’s like climbing a steep up a mountain. And oh, by the way, I want it to be just Me and you. Not a bunch of gadgets and stuff to distract you, okay? I have some great things to share with you!”
I mean, wow, the God of the universe wants to hang out with you. He knows you by name. He cares. He loves you. He thinks you’re amazing.
Technology might have changed since I was a teen, but one thing has not. Teens love to hang out with people who like them! Shoot, adults love to hang out with people who like them.
And there’s NO ONE who loves and likes you more than Jesus! No one. Trust me.
He is worth your time. He’s worth your energy and devotion.
Carving out time to spend with him will be THE most valuable habit and investment you make in your young years.
Spend time with Jesus. Start with 15 or 20 minutes a day. Wake up 30 minutes early. Cut off the TV a one show before bed time. Nothing on TV or at the movies, or a video game, will benefit you the next day or next year, or next decade. Those things will be forgotten or faded memories. Shallow victories. Time lost. Time wasted.
So don’t delay. Hang with Jesus. He’s waiting for you!