Normal Matters

Our "normal life" matters

Time is a Canary

Why are canaries sometimes referred to as stoolies, pigeons, or tattle-tales? Because in mines they would “tell on” the presence of toxic gases before those gasses became lethal to the miners. How did they “tell on” the gasses? By giving their lives. They were sensitive to the gasses and would die before those gases became lethal to humans. Hence, a canary became a dead tattletale as it “told” on danger by giving its life.

Our usage of time is a canary. It “tells on” us by the way we use our time.

“So what?” you say. “I have nothing to hide. It doesn’t really matter.”

But it does matter. How you are perceived by others matters because it shows who you are. And you may be revealing to others some things that are hidden, at least to you. In addition, irrespective of others, we are held accountable by the way in which we use our time.

“How does it reveal who I am? They just see me doing whatever it is I’m doing. That doesn’t tell them a whole lot about me.”

But it does. It informs them of more than you think. Still unconvinced? What are your thoughts when you see someone bow their head and quietly say grace prior to a meal? Or what do you think when every time you interact with someone they talk about their latest dance experiences and their plans for future dancing. And what goes through your mind when you observe a  person spending his weekends and free time working on cars?

You begin to know things about that person far beyond what you see them doing. You intuit that person’s interests, preferences, and even their belief systems.  The way we spend time frames other people’s perceptions of us, revealing much about who we really are. Because of the way we spend time, others are able to make general statements characterizing our lives. “He’s a spiritual person,” they might say about the one they observe saying grace before meals, inferring the presence of a significant religious system in that person’s life.  “Oh she’s a dancing fanatic,” they would say of the woman always talking about her dancing experiences. Or, “yeah, he’s a grease monkey,” when referring to the person working on their car every weekend.

Then there’s the whole accountability arena. Our usage of time matters if we are being held accountable for it.

“Accountable to whom?” you ask?  The God of the Bible.

Yes, the answer depends upon the existence of the God of the Bible. If He does not exist then the way in which we are accountable for our time is simply a matter of human judgement. Other than our parents and authority systems under which we live, there is no entity to whom we are accountable for the way our time is, or was spent.

If the God of the Bible does exist then how we spend our time is a matter of eternal significance.  As shown above, how we spend our time reveals the persons we are. The persons we are depends on the critical test of whether or not we have, at some time in our life, repented of our sin and trusted in the death of God’s Son as payment for our sin penalty. Failing this test results in eternal death. Passing it results in eternal life.

Furthermore, those who pass the test will receive rewards based upon the quality of their works—whether they were good, of eternal significance, or empty, of no eternal value.  Those who fail the test will experience various levels of eternal punishment in hell, also based on the acts done in their lifetimes.

Hence the way we spend our time matters, not only in the way others see us, but in the way God sees us. Time is something we all have in common. It is a normal matter, the use of which in the end, is a matter of life and death.

About Wade Flaming

Wade is a both a writer and simulation software engineer. He grew up on a farm in the central United States and works as a contractor for a company writing aircraft simulation software. He enjoys writing software as well as observations of day-to-day normal life matters.

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