Make Your Life a Masterpiece
The Coach's Corner
Published Oct. 12, 2011 @ midnight
(This piece is inspired from the writings of Coach John Wooden, the former UCLA basketball coaching legend.)
Time is the one thing that we spend and can never get it back in any shape form or fashion. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. I hear people all the time tell themselves that they will work twice as hard tomorrow to make up for what they did not do today. They justify the wasting of time, when we all know that it is impossible to make up time.
We should always do our best. If we can work twice as hard tomorrow, then we should have also worked twice as hard today. That would have been the best. We would be farther ahead in our lives if we did this. Catching up leaves no room for us to do our best tomorrow. When we put off or miss a chance to do something, we may indeed make it up later, but what about the time we used to make-up? It could have been better used to prepare in the first place. People with the philosophy of putting off and then working twice as hard, cheats themselves.
Most young people don't know how to work hard, and so many are satisfied with just getting by. I don't settle for this second-best attitude from my players. I'd ask them, "If you do not have the time to do it right the first time, when will you find the time to do it over?”
I seek to help my players learn to work hard in three areas of life. Certainly, I want to help them get the most out of themselves physically, but I also wanted them to learn to work hard mentally and emotionally. I asked that their studies come first; athletics second and social lives third. This requires them to have discipline. Physical conditioning, of course, was needed to play sports, but it also helps them gain control in other areas of their lives.
To do a good job on their studies, they need to develop mental control. To avoid mistakes and stay focused, they also needed to have emotional control. Achieving that takes hard work. Control in all three areas helps my players keep focus in school, on the court and in life.
Time is precious. It can’t be saved, it can only be spent, so to waste it, is to cheat yourself of your best. If tomorrow morning your bank credited your account with $84,000 but that evening canceled whatever part of the amount you failed to use, what would you do? You would spend every penny of course!
Well you have such a bank account, it is called time. Every day it is credited with 86,000 seconds. As the clock strikes midnight, whatever you failed to use is lost forever. Each day the bank named Time opens a new account in your name and each night it burns the records of the day and cancels the time left that you did not use. It does not deposit the remainder of the time you wasted. It is a totally lost.
What is the value of a day in our lives? It is exactly 86,000 seconds. No more, no less. God gives us life as a gift, but how we spend the time in our lives is our gift to God. The apostle Paul also had a take on time. He wrote to the Christians of the city of Ephesus and suggested that they make each day a masterpiece. A wise person, he pointed out, will make the most of his or her time.
To truly make each day a masterpiece, we must first understand the Lord’s will. You can’t have a masterpiece if you spend time on frivolous activities or outright sin.
Paul wrote about the problem of addiction to alcohol, but he could just as easily have added drugs, television, food, computers, video games, and a host of other detrimental time wasters. How many hours do you spend each day on these or other unhealthy habits? How could you better use that time?
Finally, Paul urges us to be filled with the Spirit. Having God’s power helps us say no to the bad stuff and yes to God’s will. “So be careful how you live, not as fools, but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days,” Ephesians 5:15-16.
How will you spend your 86,000 seconds today? How can you make today a masterpiece? I want today and every day to be a masterpiece, to myself, to my school, to my job, to my family, and to Jesus Christ. I want to use every second so that tomorrow I will not have to make up for something I wasted today, but use today to push on toward a new masterpiece.