I have been thinking a great deal this morning about time. Events of the past several days have reminded me of the precious nature of the gift of time.
You see, time is more than just a measure of the passage of the hours of the day, waiting until we can punch the clock and go home. Time is more than just the countdown of the days until we go on vacation, or go to see the grandchildren. Time is a much more precious commodity than the tics of the second-hand on a clock, or the beeping of the alarm on a cell phone.
Last night, as I sat in my chair, watching a documentary on the Oklahoma City Bombing, I heard the first hand story of one of the victims, who worked in the Murrah Federal Building. She was trapped in the rubble for six long hours while the first responders sought to free her. It struck me, as she talked about those six horrifying hours, she didn’t think about anything other than how she should have lived her life differently. She bargained with God for more time…and if she was granted that time, she would make the most of each new hour God gave her. Time became precious for this lady who was rescued from a horrific disaster.
This morning, I awakened to news that a childhood friend passed away entirely too soon. In a matter of eight days, he went from healthy husband, father, churchman, and all-around good guy to a victim of cancer. This morning, I am saddened, shaken, and grieved that a beautiful person had their time on earth snuffed out…entirely too soon. He was too young.
As I process all of this, I am working with congregants who have been diagnosed with cancer. I have celebrated homegoings eight times over the past eleven months for dear and loved people…each of whom died, in my estimation, entirely too young. I have wept at caskets. I have held the hands of dear saints who were graduating from this life. I have prayed over grieving family members. I have had dear friends pray over my own grief. I frequently shed tears as precious memories of family members overwhelm me.
If scripture bears out anything, it is that we are not guaranteed time beyond the moment in which we now live. In the scheme of life, old or young have no real bearing. What has bearing is how we live our life in this moment. What counts, in Kingdom time, is how we use the hours, the minutes, the days that we have right now. How we steward the time we have been given is the measure of the quality of a life.
We live life now with an end. Lives that are well-lived are the ones that are given away. You see, we don’t earn more time by hanging tightly to the time we have. We earn quality of life by giving that over which we have little control to bless others.
Time is a gift from God. Use the time you have well. Love others with God’s reckless love. Give yourself to others, pour your gifts and passions into them. Use your words to build other up, to bless them, to speak grace into their lives. Hug your wife, your husband, your children, your grandchildren, your parents. Hug strangers that they may know the love that Christ has so freely given them.
The best time is the time spent loving…
Anyway, that is my meanderings this morning…