In his recent film, Click, Adam Sandler is an average father who, like any decent father, wants to support his family and succeed at his job. Only he can't do both at one time. He can't advance himself in his architecture firm without neglecting his family. Then, right when circumstances start to overwhelm him, he gets the break of a lifetime: A magical remote control that allows him to alter the world around him. Thanks to this new remote (courtesy of the angel of death, Christopher Walken) he can stop time, speed up time and alter a variety of other things around him to his liking. However, much to Sandler's surprise, this special remote was never meant to make his life easier... it was meant to teach him a lesson about true value.
On at least a weekly basis I imagine how a little bit of magic would greatly improve my ability to accomplish everything I want to accomplish. I want to invent a special stop watch that stops time for day or two so I might sit down and accomplish more than time will permit. I think to myself, "If only I could get this done now!"
There is a solution to our time-management dilemmas: Trust God. God is in the business of redeeming lost time. Apart from Him, however, time will always be our enemy.
God's definition of "accomplishing something" is not at all what we might expect. Men measure their accomplishments by how much money they accumulate, the number of people they have working under them or by how many skyscrapers they've built. But this is foolishly short-sighted from God's perspective. What happens to all buildings eventually? They crumble and disintegrate. What happens to all money eventually? It's either stolen or it becomes worthless when the society upholding that money ceases to exist. What happens to all humans eventually? We die.
Think about these two facts:
1. We were made to wear out in a hundred years or less.
2. We will never be perfect.
The practical purpose of these two facts: God wants us to concentrate on the living process. The ends don't justify the means, the means are our end. This should be a huge relief to the masses of distracted people who try to orchestrate their lives before they happen.
This is where Adam Sandler missed the point in the movie Click. He convinced himself that, if only he could obtain a more favorable position, then life might get easier for him. But life will never get easier, so we might as well enjoy our circumstances right now. Sandler already had his loving family, a working car, a house and a stable job. He had every reason to enjoy his circumstances, bless his family and allow his family to bless him. But he was distracted with goals that might happen in a year or two.
The fact that God values the process should encourage the average working person. There is a healthy kind of discontentment, true. We should want to improve ourselves and the world around us. However, the best way to improve ourselves and the world around us is to make the most of today. This means more than just working hard. We should also be deliberately joyful and content. As we live every day purposefully focused on God, working with whatever He has apportioned us, we will grow up into spiritual wisdom and bless the people around us. We will honor God with our daily lives; this is our highest purpose.
God values the process. This is related to the general truth that, "What you do today is what you will be tomorrow."
This should also affect the way Christians try to improve the world. Christians have learned from the world how to be excessively fixated on distant goals that might happen someday. Of course, plans and goals are good. But our most basic purpose for living is to obey God right now. This means we should be deliberately prayerful and content, enjoying God as well as whatever circumstances He has placed us in. We should take advantage of present opportunities to love others unconditionally and boldly speak the truth. God has afforded each one of us a purposeful sphere of influence, therefore let us trust and obey Him right now, wherever we are, and leave the rest up to him.
This is also related to the fact that we cannot do church. We cannot accomplish church one or two days a week by going to building called "church." We live out the reality of God's church on a daily basis by being God's church. We will grow up together into one spiritual organism as we share life's joys and pains together. The more we neglect the world's standards for success the more we will have time to discover and live out heavenly success.