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What Time is It?

by Roger Shouse

2 Timothy 4:6 “For I am already being poured out as a drink-offering, and the time of my departure has come.”

Our passage refers to time. It was time for Paul to go. His time was up. His departure wasn’t a scheduled flight. It wasn’t a place to preach. It wasn’t to meet with other brethren. He had an appointment with death. He would be tried once again by Caesar and this time was going to be his last time. Caesar would end Paul’s life. He knew that. The time was about up. His journey here was about over. It was time to close the books on what he would do.

Here we are in June already. The year is half over. “Where has time gone,” some will say. This year, much better than this time last year, is showing signs of picking up and getting back to life. Masks are coming down and hope is rising up. Churches that cancelled about everything last year, are lining things up this year. Meetings. VBS. Lectureships. It’s time to get things going again. But the year is half over—what a thought.

First, time doesn’t move any faster today than it did in the days of Jesus. It doesn’t move faster today than it did twenty years ago. We have the same number of hours in a day. Nothing has changed in the time factor. It may be that we are just so busy and are trying to stuff so much into a day that time seems to fly by. Most would rather be busy at work than have nothing to do. But in all this busyness, sometimes we cut some corners that should not be cut.

We don’t have a lot of time to reflect, observe and meditate spiritually. Too busy. Too much to do. The year is nearly half over already. When dealing with worry Jesus tells the disciples to look at the birds and the flowers. We rush past those things because there are so many other things to get done. But, it’s those moments of reflections, observations and meditations that build our faith and soul. Just standing at a grave, as I did last week. Just thinking. Just remembering. Just reflecting. Good for the soul.

Rushing through life, we often cut people short. There are those who need to talk. Some want to vent. Some have questions. Some want to connect. Some need interaction. And, as we hurry along, we can leave people wanting more and feeling pushed out of the way for more important things. Have you noticed, just within three years, how often Jesus let people talk to Him. If anyone had more important things to do, it was the Lord. If anyone had greater business, it was the Lord. Just three years of ministry. Shorter than time in high school. Never was Jesus too busy for others. May we be the same.

Second, the year is nearly half over, have you gotten done what you wanted to? We can spin our wheels and never accomplish what we need to. The Martha syndrome is always around us. Poor Martha. She was left alone to serve Jesus and the apostles. That was a house full. She was distracted. She was bothered. And, her sister not doing a thing, really burned the biscuits in Martha’s mind. What Martha was doing was important, but it wasn’t the most important. Mary had the right idea. One can always eat. In fact, the Lord could multiply food. He had done that more than once. Having Jesus with you wasn’t something that one always had. They weren’t chit-chatting about the weather and who won the ballgame. Jesus was teaching. Mary was listening. Martha was steamed.

What was most important for you to accomplish this year? Did you have a plan or a goal? Are you driving your life or are you just allowing each day to determine what happens and what you get done? Next thing you know, it will be December, and the year will be just about over. Resolutions? Plans? Goals? Just what did you want to accomplish this year?

Third, for many of us, our lives are more than half over. Mine is. Many of us are nearly at third base and coming home is in sight. And, truth be, for most people that last few years of their lives are not the most productive. Health and age have slowed them down so much that they can’t do what they were doing decades ago. No longer have the stamina, mind power, and voice, many old preachers have to stop preaching. Their best work is now behind them. And, that will be true of all of us if the Lord allows us to live that long. The younger generation moves much faster than the older generation. The younger generation does things differently than the older generation.

And, when one starts thinking that way, then leaving examples are more important than travel. Talking to the kids about the Lord is more important than cleaning out the closet. Leaving footprints that point to Heaven is more important than anything else.

It’s June. The year is nearly half over. Someday, your life will be nearly over. It’s time to get done what needs to get done. Night is coming Jesus said, and no man can work.

 

              Roger Shouse is minister of the Charlestown Rd. Church of Christ, New Albany, IN.




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If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8