rebelling against low expectations

How Much Time?


Today we have an article from Daniel Osborne, a former administrator for the Rebelution Forum. Daniel has invested countless hours into the ministry of this website.

Daniel’s post confronts us with the important and sobering question, “How much time do we really have?” Read it carefully, consider the Scripture passages, and pray the prayer Daniel shares at the end. This is worth your time.

How Much Time?

Do you ever wonder how much time you have on earth? Do you dream of things you want to do before that point? Do you actually pursue those things or are they in the distant future?

I was reminded once again today of the need to make the most of my time. I spent a few hours this afternoon at the hospital visiting a friend who was in a coma for over a month… and then unresponsive for another couple months and is just now starting to be responsive. It was a simple skateboarding accident. All at once, his life was changed… his mouth has not uttered a word for 4 months. He was one of the most energetic people I know. Things have changed. Yet, God is still in control.

I sat there on the hospital bed reading Psalm 27 to him and talking to him about Joshua and God’s promise to always be with us. It was hard not knowing if he could even understand what I was saying. I think he could understand… but is so hard when there is no response. It was good to be able to pray with his mom over him… but so hard to see him in that state. I’m thankful that we have an all-wise God who has never once failed in doing what is best.

It did cause me to think about the different things I want to accomplish in life… and what I am doing now to prepare myself to accomplish them. I’m talking specifically about the areas in which we can make a difference for the sake of Christ for eternity. How am I living out the reality of the gospel in my normal everyday life? How is Christ and His call to forsake all and follow Him changing me? These are all questions that I ought to ask myself continually.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:16)

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. (Col. 4:5)

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven–A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace. (Ecc. 3:1-8)

So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

God, I ask that You show me my end… remind me of how short my life is, so that I would spend my time wisely. Remind me of the death I must die daily [to sin and my own desires] and of the life that I must live to the fullest in Christ.

You have made it clear that there are times for just about everything. Please make Your will clear… show me the things that it is time for. Fix my heart on You and grant courage to make the most of the time that You have given me. Let me not live life without impacting souls for Your glory. Rid me of myself so that I see the opportunities that You are continually placing in my path. Conform my desires to Yours. Make me more like Christ.

I want a full life for Your glory. I am Your tool… not one that you need… but one that You have chosen. Please use me as You see fit.

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About the author

Brett Harris

is co-founder of and co-author of Do Hard Things, along with his twin brother, Alex. He is married to his best friend, Ana, who blogs at He is the founder of the Young Writers Workshop — an ongoing coaching program for serious writers.


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  • This is such a beautiful picture. It is good to remember how little time we have, especially for us teens, as we have a tendency to waste our teen years. It is also good to know we have a God with a plan who will never fail us. No matter what happens we can rest easy knowing He is in control. I love what Daniel says about God in this quote, “I’m thankful that we have an all-wise God who has never once failed in doing what is best”. That is sadly hard for us to remember. I was struck by that because I have never thought about it like that. Thank you Daniel for those encouraging words and thank you Brett for posting this!

  • Thank you for this convicting post.
    I have question I would like anyone to answer: Is it wrong to spend a lot of time on things like music and dance? I play piano and take ballet, and I spend a lot of time practicing. Because these things aren’t particularly God-focused, should I not invest as much time in them?
    Thanks again!

  • Thanks for another awesome post! Knowing that our time is unknown can help us to start following God faithfully now, and not wait until it may be too late.

    Lily: God created our minds to learn and to do things that He created for His glory and our enjoyment. I personally play piano, and I know others who are in dance, and I know it can take a lot of work. No, it is definitely not wrong to spend a lot of time on things like that. However, there is one stipulation: He doesn’t want us to let those things take us away from Him and become more important to us than He is. Anything you do, He wants you to do it for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). Whether it be playing a worship song on the piano at church, dancing in a Christian dance recital (I’ve seen it done and it can be quite worshipful), we can be honoring God in all we do.

    If you find that it’s hard to focus on God with all you have to do, you may find that you need to just take some time and spend it in prayer and reading scripture. So even though piano or dance might not necessarily be entirely God-focused in and of themselves, it is up to us to make them God-focused. I really enjoy playing the piano myself, and I hope you are able to use your gifts to Christ’s glory! I hope this helps. God bless,


  • I had a scare like that about 6 months ago. I got puffed up and tried to play with the boys. My best guy friend actually was the one who gave me a minor concussion. You realize how short life is when you are riding to the emergancy, trying to keep dinner down, and thinking your too young to die. Praying that you’ll come out of this alive.

    Daniel: Is there some way I can pray for your friend or his family? I know how scary that situation can be.

  • I’ve been praying lately many times daily for God to Redeem my husband’s & my time for him.
    We work very hard at our jobs but in the evening, it’s just TV time. Nothing very profitable comes out of this. We are now in our 60’s and truly their are no guarantees about how much more time we have on earth. My Hearts cry is “Lord Jesus, gain our hearts more fully day by day for your work and purpose on the earth! He is faithful who called us and He will do it! I’m Thankful!

  • My mom usually reads a devotional book to my brother and I while we’re eating breakfast. We’ve been reading a book about how to make the most of and honor God with our time. Really, HIS time. I really like what Daniel said about dying to ourselves and living in Christ. I can really relate to that. But if you’re a Christian, so should you. Thanks, guys.

  • Thank you so much, Daniel. My dad likes to say “There is always time for the will of God.” I think that sums up your article pretty well. Great post!

  • Thank you all for your comments. I am challenged by these things even as I read my own words a couple years later. Isn’t it such a blessing that the Lord gives us so many reminders of how important it is that we live for Him in the hear and now? Every day is a gift from Him. May we live no longer for ourselves but for Christ who died and rose again on our behalf.

    Genesis, this post is a couple years old. This young man’s family is from out of state and they ended up moving him and I no longer have contact with them. It is pretty likely that he is still in recovery and it would be a huge blessing if you would join me in praying for him and his family. His name is Kevin.

  • Bessie:
    The Son, Jesus Christ has set you free… you are free indeed! (John 8:36)
    “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
    God’s dearly loving desire for you and your life is not this spirit of depression… Bessie, Jesus died for you! He loves you so much. You have to begin to see yourself through His eyes. To tell you the truth, higher “self-esteem” is not going to help you at all, quite frankly. Your esteem needs to be in Jesus Christ. Is it not in Him and through Him that we live and have our being? Turn your eyes to Him: who He is and what He has done for you… what He wants from you… and the things of this world (depression) will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory.
    In His Grip,

  • This is a great post! It really does get you thinking about your own life, and puts certain things in perspective. A little over a year ago a friend of mine died in a freak accident, it was unexpected and mind-blowing. That was a turning point for me though. It taught me to look at things a little differently. I really appreciate the post 🙂

By Brett Harris
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →