Time is always an interesting topic, especially with a new year just a couple of days away. Most people seem to be concerned about how quickly time is rushing by, yet practically function as if it will never end. What can we say about time?
To begin with, there is equality in the distribution of time. Everyone receives the same daily portion – 24 hours. Not everyone spends their time the same way. Some accomplish so much and others so little with the same allotment. Obviously much time is wasted, often in small amounts that tend to add up. Remember, a pail of water with a pin hole becomes just as empty as one that is kicked over.
Our perspective of time will have much to do with how it is spent. Comedian Lenny Bruce had a very shallow view of time. He believed that with sixty-five years to live, the first 20 can’t be enjoyed because no one has anything figured out yet and after the age of 45 nobody has the physical energies to enjoy anything. That leaves only 25 years of real life and for those years he boldly stated, “I’m going to swing”. Incidentally, he died of a drug overdose when he was forty.
Louis Agassiz’ view of time is preferable. He was invited to speak to a prestigious group of scholars, but declined saying that lectures take up too much time. The invitation was repeated with the promise to pay him handsomely. “That’s no inducement to me,” Agassiz replied, “I can’t afford to waste my time making money.”
A biblical view of time recognizes first that time is what life is made of and as such is a gift from God. Second, time is a non-renewable resource; it will ultimately end for all of us. Third, a biblical view of time joyfully accepts that the end of time is not the end at all. Jesus promised “eternal life” to all who believe in and follow Him. Fourth, the prioritizing of time according to things that really count (like faith and family) will do much towards creating a sense of personal fulfillment as time progresses.
Finally, (perhaps it should be first) recognize that God “inhabits eternity” (Isaiah 57:15). He is not only unaffected by the passage of time, but provides a fresh supply of compassion and care along with the gift of each new day. “His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is His faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22, 23).
Happy New Year!
— Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church