THE LAW OF TIME PERSPECTIVE AND THE PERSPECTIVE OF TIME
“To find the real value of anything divide it by eternity”- Dr. Ferdinand Nweke
There is a law I have a certain fondness for, it is called the “Law of Time Perspective”.
The reasoning behind it is a very simple one. It very plainly states that the longer one spends in planning for an event or occurrence the higher the chances that one will be successful in that venture.
The explanation of this is quite simple; if for instance two people are going for a job interview in two weeks it stands to reason that the person who starts preparing for it a week ahead would have a higher chance of success than the one who starts preparing on the day of the interview.
This law is one of the most profound principles of success operated on a regular basis by many who might not even know the technical definition of what they are doing.
As we progress in this article we will see how this has a direct bearing on our lives and efforts.
Now let us talk a bit about the perspective of time.
We know that there are things that serve as equalizers in life and these to some extent create an equal playing ground and even field for all human beings; for instance there is nobody who has a different type of oxygen to inhale from what others have, nor is there anyone who will die with any part of his wealth regardless of how affluent he might have been in life.
In the same way there is neither a person allocated 23 hours each day nor is there any given 25 hours of a day. The President of the United States has 24 hours each day, so does the most impoverished pauper in the Third World of the Third World.
Every single person has the same amount of empty golden boxes delivered on a daily basis to him or her, and it is only that person that has the choice to decide what they are filled with.
One of the greatest resources available to humanity is Time, and one major thing that distinguishes success stories from failures is what they do with their time.
The successful person spends time with greater economy than he would spend money because he realizes that although time is free it is still one of the most perishable commodities available on earth.
Once it’s lost there’s no getting it back.
Time is an ephemeral resource- more so than we actually know.
Life expectancy in North America is between 79 and 81 years of age.
Nigeria on the other hand is lower- much lower.
With a current life expectancy of 54.07 years, Nigeria is ranked 216 in the world, and 16th in Africa. Thirty seven years ago, average life expectancy in Nigeria was 44.74 years, ranking 58th in the world and 21st in Africa.
(Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/average-life-expectancy-increasing-slowly-nigeria/)
So let’s say you are American or Canadian and you are reading this article at the age of 30, and let’s take for granted that you will live until you are 80 years of age, this would mean you have only 50 years ahead of you. Now though 50 years might look like a long time it is nowhere near as long as you would think.
And if you are a 30 year old Nigerian reading this and the statistics we have above are anything to go by then many other Nigerians your age have just over 24 years left on earth.
Now, let’s see if we can strike some sort of balance between the two ranges and pick a random figure like 70.
If you are 25 years old now and we take for granted you will live till you are 70 then you have just 45 years left to do anything with your life.
Ask yourself what you did with the last 25; did you invest those years or waste them?
Let’s assume you spend 7 hours sleeping each day, 1 hour in the bathroom, 2 hours in buying condiments, making your food, eating it, and doing the dishes afterwards, 3 hours in your closest relationships (family in particular), 8 hours on the job, 1 hour on social media and the internet and 1 hour in unforeseen circumstances; a breakdown should be something like the following-
(1) Sleep……………………………………………07 hours
(2) Personal Hygiene……………………….01 hour
(3) Eating…………………………………………02 hours
(4) Relationships……………………………..03 hours
(5) Vocation……………………………………..08 hours
(6) Social Media………………………………..01 hour
(7) Unforeseen…………………………………..01 hour
The implication of the above is if you diligently use the rest of your time you will have just 1 hour left to use your time to gain eternal value.
Remember we started this by speaking about the law of Time Perspective; the longer you spend preparing for a significant objective the higher your chances at being successful in that task.
If we understand that time was given to us to make something of eternal consequence then we will develop a different mindset.
Following our example above-
If you are 25 and you will live till you are 70 you have (1/24 x 45 years=) 1.8 years actually available to prepare for and accomplish this objective of your life.
If you are 30 you have (1/24 x 40 years=) 1.6 years available;
If you are 40 years of age right now you have (1/24 x 30 years=) 1.2 years
And if you are 50 years today you have (1/24 x 20 years=) 0.8 years to do what you have to do.
A cursory look at the nature of time immediately reveals one major characteristic- it is a means and not an end.
Time was given for a higher purpose, and its worth will only be measured by how much of it was used for that purpose.
Now when we overlay this with the principle of time perspective we spoke about earlier the point at issue then becomes whether we have started preparing for the reason we were given time.
So what is the reason for time?
ETERNITY: THE REASON FOR TIME
Eternity speaks of Permanence. There is no change of status in eternity. Choices can only be made in the realm of time, not the realm of eternity, so choice ends when time does.
Time will end just like it began. Once upon a time there was no time. As difficult as it may seem to believe and understand this there was actually a time when there was no time.
Time is a creation and an invention of Divinity and it had a beginning-
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF TIME”
2 Timothy 1:9
So Time is a creation like all others…it had a first day and it will have a last.
Some day time will end in the same way that it began
The reason why we have mentioned this is because there is potentially an eternal value for everything that was created, including Time. There is a purpose for everything that was created, including Time.
But the challenge is that where purpose is not known abuse is inevitable.
So, what is the purpose of Time?
God dwells in eternity and not in time; time is a punctuation of eternity and it was created for one purpose- God has a program and Time exists for God to run His program with the rest of creation.
Let’s “evaluate Time against the backdrop of Eternity.”
The phrase you have just read is actually a misstatement and misrepresentation because one can never actually evaluate time against the backdrop of eternity.
But for the purpose of this article let us just assume Eternity is one quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) years.
No reasonable person who understands this would spend only 1 hour everyday of the rest of his life preparing for one quadrillion years.
If the time spent on this side of life will affect and determine what happens on the other very significantly and if we use our frame of reference to imagine that we have just 70 years to prepare for one quadrillion then we must realize the import of every wasted second.
If we call the estimated 70 years we will spend on earth “finite years” and the one quadrillion we have carved out as our sample size “infinite years” we will be able to have an idea what each unit of finite time is worth when compared with its infinite counterpart.
(i) We have 1 finite year to prepare for 1,428,571,000,000,000 infinite years
(ii) We have 1 day to prepare for 39,139,000,000,000 infinite years
(iii) We have 1 hour to prepare for 1,631,000,000,000 infinite years
(iv) We have 1 minute to prepare for 27,183,333,333 infinite years
(v) We have 1 second to prepare for 453,055,555 infinite years
Think about the numbers you have above.
Imagine that for every second I do not make profitable use of here on earth it amounts to the loss of an opportunity to contribute to that which will cover at the very least 453,055,555 infinite years.
Imagine that anyone who has wasted a second of your time has literally robbed you of a minimum of the above stated vast amount of time.
With respect to the foregoing I then suggest that one of the resources we must be most ruthless in apportioning is Time.
This resource is imperative, it is so critical that the management of it is a major sign of wisdom-
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise making the most of the time, because the days are evil.”
‘So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”
So I would like to ask this question- “What are you doing with your time?”