Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
In the sermon last Sunday, I challenged us in one particular way relating to our use of time. I asked us to consider what the impact on our relationship with God would be if for every hour we spent watching television, we spent one hour reading the Bible; if for every hour we surfed the internet we spent one hour in prayer; if for every hour we played video games (or substitute other recreational activities), we spent one hour reading solid and insightful Christian books. We don’t have to give up these things altogether, but what if we just gave God equal time?
Recently, I was personally challenged in this area. I was reading an article by a pastor from the Unites States, and he described how we can read 200 books a year! We read that and our first response is probably, “No way!” So, how did he arrive at that number?
He pointed out that the typical non-fiction book has 50,000 words, times 200 books equals 10 million words. The average American reads 200-400 words per minute. (His figures throughout are for Americans, but I would imagine this would be quite similar for those of us in Switzerland.) Even at the slower reading rate of 200 words per minute, it would take about 833 hours to read 200 books, or about 16 hours per week.
You are probably thinking: I don’t have 16 hours a week to read! Yet, the average American spends 11.7 hours per week on social media and 31.5 hours per week on TV. Together, that’s about 43 hours per week.
As I said in the sermon, what if we just gave God equal time? So, if we divide those 43 hours in half, that would leave 21.5 hours per week to continue watching television and following social media, and 21.5 hours to read those 200 books per year, with 5.5 hours left over to read Scripture and to pray.
I know all these figures (reading rate, time spent on social media and watching television) will vary from person to person. And reading 200 books a year is probably not a reasonable or even necessary goal for most of us. But one thing is clear – probably all of us have a lot more time than we imagined that we could devote to studying God’s word, praying, and reading solid Christian books. As we do that, we will nourish our souls, enrich our minds, and deepen our relationship with God.
What a difference it will make for us if we just give God equal time!
Grace and peace,