A man was walking late one night to a distant town when he stumbled upon something in the road. Reaching down, he picked up a small bag full of stones. He looked around and stared through the darkness, attempting to see if anyone had dropped them. Seeing no one, he decided to take the bag along with him on his long journey on a moonless night.
To pass the time, he started dropping the small stones in the river bordering the road. Plop . . . plop . . . the sound was harmless amusement for the bored traveler. When he reached his destination, he had only two stones left in the bag. Entering the town, he drew closer to a street lamp off the square. Cupping the two remaining stones in his palm, he looked at them under the yellow lamplight and saw an odd twinkle and luster to the stones. He peered closer. To his shock and dismay, the small, stones were actually diamonds!
A wise prison pastor who was able to lead many of his fellow prisoners to Christ related this small story on numerous occasions. He learned through suffering that every minute could be used to further Gods kingdom, no matter what the circumstance. He often admonished others, You can regain lost money, but not lost time. Use your time wisely in Gods service.
[i]Thirty-two million seconds in every year, and each second we live is a precious gift from God to use for his purposes. If we waste them, the seconds return to God, but they will not return to us. They are gone forever, like the diamonds in the silt of the river bottom. Jesus, even while being crucified, spent his final breaths offering salvation to the robber and speaking words of comfort to his mother. He even ministered to his murderers by offering them forgiveness. Imagine how precious that time was to the thief who joined Jesus in heaven that day. Are you filling your precious moments with purpose? Ask God to show you how to redeem your time, not waste it.[/i]