One of the things I love most about being a parent during the holidays is the excitement that comes from my kids. As we were in the advent season, time became really important to them. We used our advent calendar to countdown the time until we would celebrate Jesus birth… and oh yea, something about counting down to presents too. But everything about advent was marked by time and a desire for that time to be well spent. We used some of the time we had during the break to visit family up in Birmingham and then also in Jacksonville. Some of our time was spent on a visit to Cole’s doctor and then a subsequent re-visit and procedure. And then we got to New Year’s Eve where time is marked by countdown timers, a giant ball falling and fireworks.
Time. It’s something we all have in common – young and old alike. We all have before us: 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8760 hours. 525,600 minutes and 31,536,000 seconds. The question becomes, “What will you do with all this time?” It’s been said that time is free but it is priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. And once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back. Some sobering words indeed.
James calls us to some important mindsets when it comes to time. Starting in James 4 verse 13 he writes, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
James puts our lives into perceptive doesn’t he? He tells us that our lives are like the fog that rolls in through the night and by the mid-morning hours is burned off by the sun. It’s short lived. The some 70, 80, or 90 years if God is gracious that we may live pale in comparison to eternity. He has given us this precious gift of time that we are simply borrowing from Him. And He’s called us to use it well. To think like the great missionary C.T. Studd who reminds us, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
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