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2017 In The Mirror By Hal Lindsey

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The old year ends, and a new one beckons — fresh, untainted, and full of promise. As the new year begins, people around the world tend to look in a rearview mirror. What happened last year? What did I achieve? What did I leave undone? How well did I spend the days, hours, and minutes during the earth’s most recent orbit of the sun?

We often speak of stewardship in terms of money, but everything we have belongs to God. That includes physical, spiritual, and moral strength. It includes intelligence and imagination. We should see ourselves as stewards of everything God has entrusted to us. That includes time.

So, when we look at 2017 in the rearview mirror, how did we do? According to the United States Department of Labor, here’s what the average American, 20 or older, did with last year. He or she spent:

146 days in personal care (mostly sleep).
18 days eating and drinking.
29 days on household activities.
12 days purchasing goods and services.
7 days caring for and helping household members.
3 days caring for and helping non-household members.
53 days on working and work-related activities.
3 days on educational activities (skewed a little high because many in their early twenties are still in school).
5 days on civic and religious activities.
82 days on leisure and sports.
2 days on telephone calls, mail, and email.
4 days on other things.

For me, that list includes several surprises. The big one is that we average 53 days working, and 82 days of leisure. Don’t get me wrong. Leisure can be important. We are to be good stewards of health as well as time. We strengthen our bodies, minds, and spirits with wholesome activities that come under the label “leisure.”

But Americans average 82 days a year on leisure. That amounts to 37% of our waking hours. Work gets only 24%, and a combination of religious and civic activities total only 2%. We’re all different, and those are just averages. But they should make us think.

God entrusted 2017 — a whole year — to each of us.  What did we do with it? If we didn’t use it as well as we should have, we need to ask, “Why not?” Maybe we need more than a rearview mirror. Instead of looking backward, maybe we need to change the mirror’s angle so that we look directly into it… at ourselves.

A Marist Poll found that the most common New Year’s resolution for 2018 is “to be a better person.” The same resolution also topped last year’s poll. We want to be better than we are. No one lives up to even his or her own standard of right and wrong, much less God’s.

The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one.”  (Romans 3:10 NASB)

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