We may not feel it, but it is nearly the end of the first month of 2022. It is exactly ONE week until the end of the month… Time really goes fast. 

Without us knowing, it will soon be February, March, and then December, and hooray another year… or not hooray? I don't know about you guys, but 2019, 2020, and 2021 went by really fast, and it felt like a blur. But the transition between 2021 and 2022 makes my heart feel really unsettled. One question keeps bugging me every single day, ringing endlessly.“What have you done this past year, and what have you even done today?”. If you know me personally, these past few weeks, I have been studying day and night, catching up with the work for year 12, but still, it feels like I've done nothing, nothing at all. 

Since the first month of 2022 is already over, I want to ask a few questions that will hopefully make you and I realise how little time we have in this year and even in this life. So going forward to the 11 months left that we have in this year, we should continue to use our short time wisely.

  1. Are you prepared?

This may seem like such a silly question thinking about it, but what I mean is, are you prepared for everything? Okay, it might not make any sense right now but bear with me. Have you ever heard the quote by Alexander Graham Bell which goes like “Preparation is the key to success”? This quote is pretty much true because without preparation, we are preparing ourselves to fail. 

In this generation, many people think that being prepared is not important. I had this one friend, who loved to do everything last minute. She would do her homework right before she handed it in or start the assignment the night before, but the most 'last-minute' thing she ever did was doing an English assignment the morning it was due. She came to school having done nothing on the assignment that was due in a couple of hours and in the end, she ended up asking for help from the people around her. The worst thing was that she did not even feel bad for not preparing the work, and actually felt proud for having done it at the very last minute. 

Maybe you know a person like her or maybe you are one like her. This is a very bad habit because it is the lack of discipline and laziness combined and will become a big problem in the future if you do not get rid of it soon. We might think that being last minute is okay as long as we get it done. I also used to think like that, but in reality, it does not only affect if you get it done or not but it also affects the quality of the work and more importantly, your character. We, teenagers, are in the stage between being children and adults. We will soon become adults in a couple of years in the future, and having this bad habit will take a big toll on you now and in the future.

Being prepared does not only mean being prepared for the big assignments, but it also means being prepared for the small things like getting your uniform ready on Sunday night instead of Monday morning or packing your school bag with the things you need the night before instead of the morning… These small things might not look like they matter, but these are what will build the habit of being prepared.

Okay, now let’s put this preparation stuff into context. We are heading towards a ‘new’ year, school is starting again soon, and things will start to resume soon. We can look back and see if in January we were prepared for the small things, and if not we can change our habits now so that in this new year we can become a more prepared person and our time can be used more wisely.

Honestly, being prepared is not easy and I still struggle with it too (like right now, I’m writing this article a bit last minute) but it is easier to change our habits now than later. Something that might help is using a planner can help you set out your week and work out which task needs to be done. But really, we need to ask for God’s help to give us the heart to be diligent so that we can use our small time on earth wisely.

2.  What have we done last year?

Did I use my time wisely last year? Have I used my time wisely in this month that is coming to an end? What have I done to serve God in the last year? Have I preached the gospel to other people in the past year? Did my relationship with God blossom in the past year or did it die? These questions are important to think about as we transition from one year to another. Even though we may have achieved other things in life (like good grades, etc), if we do not have a personal relationship with God, all the other things we have achieved are useless. This world and the things in it are all temporary. We have to value what is important in this life – not our grades or friends but it is our relationship with God that is the most valuable.

Without God’s help, this next year will also go to waste and Satan will use the time that we have wasted for evil. So we need to ask God to give us wisdom so that we can use our time wisely. Pray to Him, and depend on Him in this next year because this world is getting more evil, now that we are given many opportunities to waste our time on social media and other things. We cannot fall into the trap of wasting time so ask God for help. We have little time on this earth left, so use it wisely, and ask God to give you wisdom to use your time wisely (Psalm 90:12).

As we enter a new month and things start to get busy, we can lose track of these things. So before going back to the busy schedule, it is good to have a private retreat with your family or by yourself to think about the past year and plan what you will do in this year, giving yourself goals to look back on over the year. We must not waste our time, but use this year to glorify God in everything we do.