by Bill Denton
"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?" (Matt. 6:26).
Through a series of errors, a South African woman failed to properly care for a collection of gold coins she inherited from her mother. The valuable coins were mixed with the rest of the woman's loose change. While on a shopping trip near Cape Town, she parked her car and used a Kruger sovereign to feed the parking meter. The gold coin, minted in 1890, is said to be worth a small fortune. Despite its value, the coin bought no extra parking time.
Citation: John Beukema, Western Springs, Illinois; source: "Woman Drops Rare Gold Coin in Parking Meter," Reuters (7-22-04)
To tell you the truth, a lot of us are more like that lady from South Africa than we realize. Every day, we misuse and carelessly waste things that have far more value than we realize. We do this without thought. We are completely unaware, it seems, that things of infinite worth end up in the trash piles of life.
Let me point out just a few of these things. Time is one of them. Do you ever waste time? Of course you do, we all do. But, when we do, we need to be aware that it is like putting a gold sovereign into a parking meter. If the average life-span is 70 years, and if a person were to waste just 30 minutes a day, then during that person's life-time, he would have wasted more than an entire year! Ever have a day where you wasted an hour? Two hours? You get the idea. Perhaps it's unreasonable to think that we must be highly productive every moment we're alive, and there is something to be said for some of that "waste" as beneficial recreation and other activities, but we all know that an awful lot of life is spent doing nothing worthwhile.
You are another one of those extremely valuable things. I've known some people who didn't just waste time, they wasted themselves. They threw themselves away for things of no value whatsoever. I've known people of great talent who let drugs and alcohol ruin them. I've known people with great potential and promise throw it all away on useless behaviors, sinful activities, things that ended up destroying them instead of helping them. How valuable are you? A lot of people don't seem to realize that as a creation of God, we have a value that far exceeds our imagination.
Next time you're about to feed the parking meter, perhaps you ought to check the coin. And, the next time you're about to spend your time, or invest yourself, maybe you ought to take a quick last look just to make sure that what you're doing is truly worth it. Time and life are precious things. Once either is gone, it is impossible to replace them. Spend wisely.