Life a Gift, Time a Mystery

Recently I attended a celebration of life service for a friend. The church was standing room only; it was a wonderful service. The most interesting part of the service for me were the comments of others regarding our friend. You see not one person commented on any of her many accomplishments, or the things she had. No everyone from young to old spoke of the “TIME” she poured into their lives, and how their lives were made the better because of her.

History has failed to give us a good definition of life. However, if it is any consolation rest assured we are in good company in failing to define life. Dating back to the early Greeks and across millennia to modern times, great minds have recoiled from the notion that life might be a matter of degree because our intuition so strongly demands that something is alive or not. Unfortunately, our intuition provides us with injustice in this area. The problem seems to be that the more rigorously we attempt to define life, the more we encounter ambiguous cases that test our assumptions, stretch the limits of our definitions, and demonstrate where intuition and common sense simple fail.

Then there is also the matter of time; we speak of saving time and also of wasting it. We say time flies or time drags. Just as we struggle with the defining of life we cannot say what time itself is. This generation is one of speed. We are always inventing mechanical devices to hasten all tasks and to traverse distances in space with ever-increasing speed. We want to go faster and faster because we want to “save” time. What is Time? We cannot see time; we cannot hear it, or smell it, or taste it; we cannot touch it! And yet no one doubts that time is and that it dominates our lives. Our every move is dictated by this most elusive and illusive factor—the time element. Its mystery has haunted human minds through the ages, and yet even today our modern scientist must accept the fact that he has not yet penetrated it. Time changes the man, yet man cannot change time. While we have the ability to measure the passage of time, time itself remains a mystery.

We often view time as the duration of Life. The space between birth and death, creation and cessation of life, the experience of life and length of days. God is the Creator He is the sovereign Lord of the days of one’s life. According to Genesis 2:7, “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being.” God is the Source and Sustainer of Life. Life is contingent upon the continuing, sustaining “breath” of God. “How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures When you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust” -Psalms 104:24, Psalms 104:29.

Most do not meditate on the temporary state of human existence or that our days are numbered. Human nature lulls us into a false sense of security of sorts leading us to believe we will somehow always be here tomorrow, we will continue, with unlimited physical days. This mindset permeates every new generation. Still, we are not able to determine when we are born; we cannot accurately recall the past. We are unable to anticipate the future fully. But the present is yours, and while we cannot tell what life has in store for us, we can decide how we invest the time entrusted to us.

The world seeks to control our time and encourages us to use it for pleasure and self-seeking. So here we are adrift in an era of spiritual confusion, debate, and sarcasm, brethren who have not “opened their eyes” have no sense of urgency. Spiritual blindness has led many into dangerous pursuits and paths Revelation 3:17. These include materialistic idolatry, the pursuit of selfish physical wealth, status, worldliness, and position. In this state of lethargy, God’s people have drunkenly stumbled along, tripping over various forms of time-wasting and often mindless entertainment, human-based “morality” and selfish, aggressive pursuits that are often competitive. Lost are spiritual focus, goals and an attitude of service to those around you. Lost is vision, and “Where there is no vision, the people perish” in spiritual darkness – Proverbs 29:18.

When we become awakened, we must be zealous helping to wake others. Christ promises to give us light – Ephesians 5:14-15. When Christ spiritually awakens you, you must recognize and understand your past lethargic stupor, and lost dead condition. You must “anoint your eyes”—repent and be zealous from this point forward, until Christ returns. You must realize the need for sustained urgency to help propel others forward along your journey, so they too may “redeem” or buy back, or otherwise regain the time that should have been spent preparing for the Kingdom of God.

When all is said and done it is the time we spend, and how we spend it in this life that matters.

God’s Peace!

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