The Time of Your Life

This weekend the nation will be thinking about time again. Twice a year it seems to rise to the pinnacle of national concern and importance as the government dictates that an hour is snatched away from us and then about a half a year later it is given back to us. Personally, like many of you, I wish that they would leave it alone. You and I both know that it is not a matter of taking or giving an hour. It is simply a matter of manipulating our clocks so that we are forced to move to a new rhythm of life. Of course, on a personal basis if we want to, we can adjust our clocks and shift them around so that we get up every morning at 10 o’clock when in reality it may be four o’clock. It is confusing, and some folks stay confused until the time changes again.

When we stop and think about time, we are reminded of the fact that it is one of the few things in life where every person is on the same page and shares in the same event. Day by day we are handed 24 fresh hours to live. Regardless of your name, race, religion or I.Q., you get the same 24 hours as everybody else. The President of the United States and the homeless street person receive the identical same amount of time each day. The highly paid and gifted professional athlete and the person struggling with a disability receive the same amount of time.

In addition to all of us getting the same amount of time each day, there is the difficulty that virtually everyone runs into more than they think they do, and that is being controlled by the time. Your family, job, personal needs, social activities, friends, sports, hobbies, health, television, Facebook, Twitter, computer searches, driving, studying, reading, shopping and a thousand other things are whittling away at the time you have. Now while the time change this weekend is not all that big of a deal and you will adjust to it fairly quickly and move on, what you are doing with your time day after day or in some cases what you feel like your time is doing to you is worth pausing to think about, evaluate and maybe adjust your life to fit your time.

Just recently, I was walking in our neighborhood in the pre-dawn light. The sun had not yet winked over the horizon, but its presence was being felt. I passed by the sidewalk in front of a home where apparently some children had been busy doing some art work. I glanced over at it to see what was there. Apparently, a girl had written her name about six feet long in several colors on the sidewalk. It was catchy and on either side of the name, there were other drawings, some stick figures and some flowers. Then I noticed written underneath the name it said, “If you have time, stop and draw something.” My first thought was that I could not draw. My second thought was I do not have time, and so I just kept on walking.

It was a cul-de-sac street and so in several hundred yards I ran out of road, and I was going to have to come back by that way. All of the time, I was being haunted by the thought, “If you have time, stop and draw something.” Of the many things that I cannot do, near the top of my inabilities would have to be drawing. My stick people look more like Chinese writing than they do people, but I thought well at least I could do what I could do and what I could do was write a note to the folks who put the message there. So when I reached that spot, I stopped and found a big piece of chalk. I wrote on the sidewalk, “Thank you for brightening my day.” I went on my way with the image of the artwork in my mind and concern about what I was doing with my time.

As I was continuing to reflect on the “if you have time” statement, I realized that I thought I did not have time to leave a response or draw anything, but I did have time to do my morning walk and exercise. I did have time to do what I felt like I needed to be doing. I did not have time to stop and draw anything because I felt incapable and did not want to waste any of my time. The bottom line was I did have time to do what I could do, if I wanted to do it. For you see, most of the time that is the way it is with our time. We can do what we feel like we need or want to do with our time. And so I took the time to stop and at least leave a note for the passersby over the next few days or until the rain washed it all away.

As I walked on I was thankful that I could enjoy a new day and could get out and exercise. I know many people who would give anything if they could use their time that way. Then I also felt good because I had used a small portion of my time to say thank you to somebody who I did not even know who had brightened my day with their drawings and thoughtfulness to invite me to be a part of it. In a world of so many, many things that I cannot do, the least that I can do and it seems important for all of us to do is to thank the people who can do the things which we cannot do. Probably, even more tragic in our lives than wasting our time or misusing our moments is to live stuck in the mire of ingratitude for the folks around us who bless us. Expressing gratitude and sincere thanks is a magnificent way for us to use some of our time each day.

Now with all of this time talk, I must say that the ultimate and most important use of time can be found in a revelation from the Word of God. Paul penned these words saying, “Now is the accepted time” (2 Cor. 6:2). He is talking about the opportune time, the appropriate, responsive time in our lives to come to know Jesus. In the same verse, he goes on to say, “Today is the day of salvation.” Today you may have business on your mind, health issues weighing you down, or your time is being consumed by some heartbreak that has taken place in your life. None of those things or a thousand things like them that may crowd in on your time schedule is as important as what you have done with Jesus. This very moment is the accepted time when you can accept Christ as your Lord and when He is ready to accept you as His child.

The Scripture says in Rom. 10:9, “That If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” How much time does it take to do that? How many seconds does it take just to read those words? How much time have you spent in life or misspent in life and failed to do the most important thing in all of time and eternity – commit your life to Jesus? Take the time to do that right now!

Jim Futral
Executive Director-Treasurer