Monday, July 11, 2016

Time Is Not On Our Side

Time is not on our side.

This is not a comfortable notion for most.  Many, myself included, often view our time on this planet as continual, ongoing, and prolonged.  The sun rises and sets every day.  The weeks blend into months.  Seasons pass.  I'm engaged in the rhythm of life; waking, sleeping, family, working.  It can seem a continuum.  But it isn't. 

Everyday we are each marching towards our last breath, our last heartbeat.  This is a morbid and disconcerting thought for many, one which we choose not to think about or dwell on.  But our days are given to us, numbered.  The brevity of our time is mentioned numerous times in scripture.

David has much to say on the matter as he often pondered death's approach while being hunted for his life by a power mad king and even his own flesh.

In Psalms 78 we are called a passing breeze.

Our lives are referred to as a grass that fades in the wind in Psalms 103:15-16.

David calls our days like a fleeting shadow in Psalm 144:4.

James states we nothing more than a vapor, a mist that quickly evaporates in James 4:14.

And Job, during his extensive trials and ordeals, states that life is a breath in Job 7:6-7.

Digress with me for a moment.  The average person takes 16 breaths a minute.  This equates to 960 breaths an hour, which totals 23,040 breaths per day.  This in turn equates to 8,409,600 breaths per year.  The average person living 80 years then takes approximately 672,768,000 breaths in a lifetime.  Job states that lifetime is equivalent to just one of those breaths in the total and this is just the beginning.

Watch the following video.  Many have seen this.  I saw it some years ago and I remember being moved by the simple logic of it.  Yet I find that I still have difficulty with the truths found within.  I struggle with the truth that I too, find myself living for portions of the red, planning only for segments further down on the red, all the while ignoring or only being minimally cognizant of the fact that there is an eternity of white beyond.   If we would truly take this to heart, it would radically alter the way in which we not only live our lives, but the urgency in which we sought to love others as well.

OK, so why all of the number games, why the ropes and elaborate illustrations?  Simply to point out this - you are an eternal being of incalculable worth to the one who created it all.  And so is every single human being who traverses this sphere from the bomb strapped terrorist to the five year old in kindergarten.  A small percentage among the 7+ billion on this planet have connected with the one who set it all in motion, have turned over spirit and soul in love and surrender and will now know an eternity in his presence. 

But that same small percentage has been tasked with living the same love and grace that a Savior walked out when he stepped into our sphere two millennium past.  He didn't model it from inside a building but in the streets and among those in need of it.  We are called to do likewise, at our work, in our neighborhoods, in our homes, and even globally.  But your days in the red are short.  The sun will rise and set tomorrow, and the next day, and days after that and odds are you will see those days unless...

This isn't a call to fear.  It is a call to faith, for it takes faith to daily walk as he walked, in his footsteps.  It requires laying down of self.  Cost is involved.  But the rewards far outweigh any price paid.  In this, we can then begin to celebrate instead of mourn the notion that time is not on our side.  Because we know that when the red ends, real life begins.

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