“So much wasted time.” According to his daughter Katie, these were the last words uttered by former teen heartthrob David Cassidy. He succumbed to liver failure on November 21st, 2017. The news of his passing, as well as every person who dies, reminds us all that we are only here for a short time, and then we vanish. I know that sounds awfully morbid and depressing. But it’s true. We experience it close to home and when we read the news. And Scripture affirms it. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
Yet, most of us try to forget about this sobering truth. It’s like we push it aside purposefully and think death won’t happen to us for a long time. We live sometimes with reckless abandon when it comes to our Christian faith, not applying ourselves to the very Word of God. We always think we will have another day to make something right that we have previously wronged. Our mindset if often warped. We think things like……..
I’ll call her sometime and try to work things out. I’m just too angry right now at what happened.
Oh, you know what, it’s his fault. he needs to reach out to me first.
I’ll start praying more when the new year rolls around.
When I don’t have so much work to do, I’ll start spending more time with my wife.
I’ll stop looking at porn soon. I just need to get my fix for a little while longer.
Get the picture? We should not play such dangerous games with God. Time is running shorter every moment that passes. God can take us at any given moment.
Now, it would be really easy for us to point the finger at David Cassidy. His alcohol abuse and legal problems were well known. And while we can see clearly as to why such a lifestyle would be considered wasting time, we don’t often take the log out of our own eye first. Cassidy’s last words should not make us judge him harshly, but ought to break our hearts. And it ought to make us think more soberly about our own failures and sinful patterns. At least Cassidy had the humility to recognize that he had indeed “wasted much time.” He had the fame, the girls, the alcohol, and everything else that Hollywood excess is known for. But it took organ failure and being surrounded by loved ones on his death bed, to bring him to the place of agonizing regret.
At the end of one’s life, what does all that ill-gotten pleasure matter? What does it matter if you have wasted your time? What does it matter if you had numerous hit singles? What does it matter if the illicit sex felt good, or the drugs gave you a nice high? What does it all matter when you failed to love your family? And what does it matter if you constantly put other things before Jesus Christ? I am not sure what all was going through David Cassidy’s mind before his death. But his final words ought to bring us Christians to our knees and pray that we would stop wasting time. There is a line in the famous poem by British missionary C.T. Studd that goes like this: ‘Tis one life, it will soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.’
There is something more frightening than being on our death bed. And that is being on our death bed with regrets related to disobedience and wasted time. Time that could have been spent in the Word of God, praying, putting our sins to death, loving our spouses, and sharing the gospel. And what about spending time with church family and reconciling broken relationships? All too frequently we put these things on the shelf, supposedly waiting for a “better” time to deal with it. We foolishly assume that we will have time to take care of important things later in life. But folks, this is not Christianity. God does not give us “Time Outs” in our walk with Christ. He gives us commands to obey, and He doesn’t negotiate the time frame on when we start obeying them. The time is now. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). So let us get busy doing things for Christ that will last. Let us get busy now, so that we don’t regret it later.
Our biggest problem is that we often resort to other more ‘comfortable’ things so we don’t have to deal with the hard stuff. We end up watching too much Netflix, commenting on too many posts, tweeting about anything and everything, and stressing over matters we cannot control. Do we really want to wait until we have just a few hours (or minutes) to live before we realize that we wasted so much time? Do we really want to wait until we have stage 4 cancer to become diligent about eternal matters? Do we really want to stay angry and frustrated about the past and things that we cannot change? Do we really want to grieve the Spirit and harbor anger toward a brother or sister in Christ? I think not.
Lying on a hospital bed, surrounded by family, David Cassidy wished he had done things differently. We all have choices to make everyday. We either destroy our lives, and others around us, by giving in to sin. Or, we redeem the time we have by living for God. I hope and pray that Cassidy’s last words would be a wake up call to Christians everywhere. I pray that we would stop wasting time, do the hard and obedient things, and store up rewards that are everlasting.
And for those of you who aren’t Christians, you need to look to the God-man Jesus Christ, who redeemed His time on earth by living perfectly in thought, word, and deed. He spent 6 hours hanging on a cross, bearing God’s wrath for sinners like you and me. And He didn’t waste a single second of time doing it. He died, and then He rose from the grave 3 days later. All of this was purposefully planned. I urge you to repent of your sins, and receive Christ by faith. Otherwise, you will just be wasting your time on earth, and storing up wrath for eternity. And God doesn’t waste time when He is inflicting His wrath on sinners in hell.
Our days are already marked out by God beforehand. Christians, don’t put off obedience to the commands of God. Do them now. None of us will be on our deathbed regretting that we shared the gospel with too many people, or that we agonized in prayer too often, or that we humbled ourselves and asked someone for forgiveness. No, what we will regret are the times we did not share the gospel, or that we spent fighting with other Christians, or that we held a grudge against our spouse. Instead, how about we do these things to redeem the time:
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
And also “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).
And of course………..
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19).
Just a few weeks ago in a Florida hospital, the teen idol who once sang “Daydreamer” could only dream he had more time. Not just more time to exist, but more time to truly live…….with good and noble purposes. God gives us one reserve of time. And He desires that we use it for His glory. Let us repent of time wasted and begin redeeming it to glorify His Name.
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