Jamar needed to consider how he spent his time.
Jamar threw open the bedroom door and tossed his backpack on the bed. Hurriedly he pulled it open. Out came his social studies textbook. His math book. A binder. Ah! Here it is! He grabbed the video game Keith had loaned him, and took out the disc, dropping the open case on the bed.
A minute later his mother put her head around the door of his room. “Hi, Jamar. I thought I heard you come in.”
Jamar glanced up at his mom while rummaging through a bin for his controller, and gave her a brief smile. “Yeah, I just got here.”
“What are you so frantically looking for?” She asked. Then she noticed the open game case on the bed. A little frown creased her brow. “Jamar, be sure you leave enough time to get your homework done before supper. You know we are supposed to go over to Grandma’s this evening, so you won’t have time to do it afterward.”
“Sure, Mom . . .” Jamar’s voice trailed off as he turned on the game console and inserted the disc. His mother watched him for a moment, then sighed a little, and walked slowly back to the kitchen.
“Jamar!” her voice rang up the stairs an hour or so later. “Your dad is home and it’s about time to wash up for dinner.” Jamar looked up, startled, and frowned at the clock on his bookshelf. It couldn’t be five o’clock already! It seemed like he’d just been playing a few minutes. Oh, boy, he hadn’t even started his math assignment, and besides that, he had a Social Studies test tomorrow to study for. Well, he’d better head downstairs now for dinner. Maybe he could eat fast and get some homework done before time to go to Grandma’s.
“I think I’d better pass on seconds tonight,” his dad said a little later as the three of them finished their dinner. “Grandma is sure to have some sort of dessert prepared for us.” He looked at his watch. “Besides, we’re going to have to get on the move. I need to stop and pick up a part for the car before the shop closes at 6:00.”
Jamar gulped. There went his homework time! His mom glanced at him. “Did you get your homework done, Jamar?”
He glanced down at the empty plate in front of him. “Uh, not exactly, Mom . . . ”
She looked at him sternly. “Jamar! Did you even start it? Or did you just spend that whole hour before dinner playing video games?”
Jamar hung his head. “I didn’t mean to, Mom. I couldn’t believe it when you called me for dinner. The time just went by so fast!”
“How much homework do you have to do, Jamar?” his father asked.
“Just a chapter of math, and a Social Studies quiz to study for.”
His father sighed. “I’m afraid we’ll just have to leave you home tonight to study. It’s important that I get that car part, so we must leave right away. And your Grandmother is expecting us by 6:30.”
Jamar’s face reflected his disappointment. “Ah, Dad, couldn’t I do it when I get home?”
“No, Son. You’d better stay home and get it done.”
Late that evening Jamar’s parents arrived home, and his dad came up to his room. “Sorry you couldn’t go with us,” he said. “Your grandma really missed you. Now before you hop into bed, I’d like to talk to you for a few minutes.”
He sat down on the edge of Jamar’s bed and reached for the Bible. “There’s a couple of verses here I’d like you to read.” He pointed to Ephesians 5:15 and 16.
Jamar took the Bible and looked where his dad was pointing. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” “What does ‘redeeming the time’ mean to you, Jamar?” his dad questioned.
“Well . . .” Jamar stumbled for words. “Doesn’t it mean not frittering away our time but making each minute count?”
“Yes, that’s it,” his dad agreed. “To redeem something is to get possession by paying for it. So to redeem time, we must pay a price. To do this may mean considering the way we spend our time.”
Jamar looked a little guilty. “I guess you mean not spending so much time playing video games when there are more important things to do.”
His father smiled. “You catch on quickly, Jamar. I was thinking of video games, but not only that. There are many ways that people can waste time. It’s necessary that we carefully consider our activities, and how much time we spend doing them. I’m not saying that you should never enjoy a moment’s recreation, but I do want you to remember that each moment of working for God or using your talents for Him, or studying His Word is a preparation for eternity. That’s pretty important! So weigh how much time you spend on each of these against the amount of time you spend doing things with no eternal gain.”
He patted his son on the shoulder. “Now, if you’ve got your homework done, Grandma sent a big piece of chocolate cake to her favorite grandson.