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South Texas Living

A good book and quiet time

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January 21, 2015 | 3,179 views | Post a comment

Have you ever really taken the time to sit back and discover where you spend your time and money? Most people don’t; thus the worldwide consumer is eyeball deep in debt searching through the inter-web for the next great deal that will save them a ton of money on the newest and best, just-gotta-have product on the market. A 2014 Gallop poll concluded that the American consumer spent on average $94 per day in the month of August that year down from $98 per day in May. Consider what the American public consumes on average. Granted, a barrel of oil yields a lot of different products, but consider this:

In 2013, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. alone consumed a total of 6.89 billion barrels of petroleum products, an average of 18.89 million barrels per day. (This total includes .32 billion barrels of bio-fuels.) In October 2014 we consumers bought, on average per day, 27 million gallons of gasoline and 12.5 million gallons of Ultra Low-Sulfur diesel for our cars, pickups, and lawn mowers. At present, the average cell phone bill is $73, according to a recent J.D. Power report. It is said that the average smart phone user spends 58 minutes a day talking, texting, inter-webbing, emailing, social networking, and playing games.

Today, Americans consume an enormous amount of media daily via television, radio, phone, and computer. Exactly how much media flows to individuals and households in a year? According to Science Daily, October 2013, the University of California Marshall School of Business reported it amounts to 6.9 zettabytes -- that’s 6.9 million, million gigabytes! The frightening part is how much time we are spending inhaling all this stuff. In 2008, Americans talked, viewed, and listened to media for 1.3 trillion hours, an average of 11 hours per person per day. By 2012, total consumption had increased to 1.46 trillion hours, an average of 13.6 hours per person per day. It is estimated that in 2015 Americans will consume media for more than 1.7 trillion hours, an average of approximately 15.5 hours per day. The amount of media delivered will exceed 8.75 zettabytes, or in another term, 9 DVDs worth of data sent to the average consumer on an average day. Is it any wonder why we are all tired, irritable and cranky, and out of control? I think what we all need is a good book, some quiet time, and some extra sleep.

[James 4:1-10; 1 Corinthians 2:6-12; 2 Timothy 3] “... we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:1-4). The good book I referenced to of course is the Word of God, the Bible. And the quiet time we are all so lacking is time with God, reading and socializing with the Creator. How good a book is it? Paul tells Timothy, “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness ...” (2 Timothy 3-16). The odd part of Bible study is not learning how to teach, rebuke, correct, and train someone else; it’s a selfie lifestyle adjustment that changes everything. A lot of things deemed important in this world won’t matter much anymore when we discover what God has waiting for us in our eternal heavenly home.

Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at Find his column on his blog at

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