4,173 hours wasted.
I’ve never been good at arithmetic, but I enjoy numbers. There is something about quantitative analysis that I find fascinating. Statistics, charts, graphs, numbers… they’re great. So the other day I was sitting in class and the idea struck me, just how much time did I spend exclusively on Christianity? Naturally, it is next to impossible to come up with a solid number. As a Christian, my faith was pervasive through most all aspects of my life. I’ve avoided the temptation to ‘double dip’ (ex. Inner monologue-type prayer while at work or school is not included; conversations about God are not included, etc.). I counted up the average number of hours I spent in church, bible studies, doing devotions, etc. during my high school and college years. Of course they are only averages, I did not go to church every Sunday nor did I spend the same amount praying each day, but I’ve come up with what I think is a good approximation: 4,173 hours over a period of seven years spent exclusively on religious activities. That’s roughly 14.7% of my time devoted exclusively to religious activity.
What if I had spent that 14.7% of my time reading? Say I read a page roughly every 2 minutes. In an hour then, I would read 30 pages. That’s 125,190 pages. That’s a lot of books. What if I had spent that time running? I would be doing marathons left and right. What if I had spent that time working? At minimum wage, that would have been well over $25,000 earned.
I recognize that I am neither dedicated enough to spend all that time on one activity, nor am I future thinking enough to have spent that time doing exclusively productive things. Not to mention that it is not as if all that time was a waste. My time as a Christian has helped form me into the person I am now (for better or worse). It was my Christian youth pastor that virtually forced me to attend college, avoiding what would most certainly have been a life working at a local factory in my home town. Most of my friends are religious to varying degrees. The point still remains, I feel somewhat foolish having dedicated that much time to something I ultimately abandoned.