Not everything is beneficial.

Do not squander timeThe hubster is on night shift again, which means I’ve become nocturnal as well, by default. The worst part of having one’s circadian rhythms reversed is trying to live like nighttime is more than just free leisure time to waste away.

Normally, nights are for kicking back and putting off household chores, work, and other ordinary-life things until the daylight hours. I’m trying to reprogram myself, because that mentality doesn’t work so well when you’re asleep for most of the day.

Something from church a couple of weeks ago stuck with me in an almost eerily resounding way. The idea that sparked it is in 1 Corinthians 6:12:

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.

Not everything is beneficial. 

I can think of a long list of things I can do with my time that aren’t beneficial to anyone in any way.

Doing something for relaxation isn’t relaxing at all if you have nothing to recover from.

In that passage, Paul was talking about sexual immorality more specifically than time management. But the implications of that verse just keep slapping me upside the head when it’s 11:30 p.m. and I don’t want to do anything but kick back on the sofa. The truth is, our time doesn’t lose value when we’re no longer at work or fulfilling those “normal” responsibilities. Spare time counts, too–it’s precious.

PickTheBrain.com put it really well in this article. The idea is that we should grow up and realize that the life in front of us is a gift. And is Netflix or Pinterest or the XBox really worth it? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s not. I know that I’m happiest when I don’t spend all my leisure time on pure leisure.

Maybe I have the free time right now to do anything my little heart desires, but that doesn’t mean I should squander it.

Maybe I don’t have any pressing responsibilities tonight, but I can find beneficial things to do.

Much to the annoyance of my inner lazy bum, the question keeps bannering through my mind: What can I do that’s beneficial right now?

While my husband is away at work, the paid writing assignments are done, the world is asleep, and I have every reason to kick back and enjoy this luxury, what can I do that’s not worthless? Anything that will give me a sense of accomplishment, rather than futility, so I know when I go to bed in the morning that I didn’t waste these precious hours of time.

Or so that, when I do kick back to watch Season 3 of Lost, it’s rewarding and enjoyable because I know I’ve done other beneficial stuff with my time, as well.

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