It’s been a long time since I have wanted or had the desire to write anything. It’s not been the time to do it, but the spirit not being willing. I’ve said it before (it has been several articles back) but, when I write, I am preaching to myself and you all are just along for the ride. Here’s what has been on my mind as of late.
I like to take walks, and lately my walks have been late at night, which I don’t mind, as it seems the dark gives one a feeling of solemness and isolation from the world. What I have noticed around town, over the past couple of years, is that there were some abandoned properties that sat derelict and run down long before we moved here. Two properties come to mind while I walked this evening. The old hospital and a house that sat on a corner several streets down. Both these properties served their purposes, but in the end it was their time to go. I always think about buildings like these; about what they must have been like in their primes.
Take, for instance, that brand new hospital. Can’t you see it? Full of the hustle and bustle of doctors and nurses working to care for people. Babies being born and those doctors and nurses fighting to save people from death; sometimes winning and sometimes losing. That house, brand new with the first owners stepping foot in the door. The smell of fresh paint and new construction. People spending their first night in their new house. What happens next? Time and age. Deterioration sets in and the new becomes the old. Eventually the building is torn down and generations to come won’t even know there was a building there.
On this sobering thought, my mind went back to conversations I have had in the past and the phrase, “Everyone is replaceable.” I say that with a caveat, as family is never replaceable. And in that word “family” I am including friends as well. But in the other arenas of life, you are totally replaceable and forgettable. Drive by any cemetery and look. How many people do you truly know that were buried out there? I can die tomorrow and, after all of the grief is over with, there will be someone else to teach in my place and to take over my duties. I will be remembered for a while and then become the story of “Do you remember Mr. Williams?” The answer, “Yeah, I never had him, but my older brother or sister did. I heard he was a really nice person.” After another few years, you become a face in a picture. Time marches on.
I am praying you all have kept reading and not had to quit because this saddens you. We need to accept the fact that we are all going to die, unless Jesus comes back soon, and we are only remembered for a season. The clichéd thought is true, our life is like the seasons in a year. Why am I on this subject? Well, you can thank Josh Conley at Kinmundy Christian Church. I am not meaning that as a bad thing, I am saying that as a thank you. Josh has been preaching on Job, which I am starting to relate to the man by the way, and his life has really spoke to me. As Job 7:6-7 says:
6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and come to an end without hope. 7 Remember that my life is but breath;” (NASB)
Life is fleeting saints. Our time here is so limited, and we waste a lot of it on things that don’t matter and will never matter. People who think that what they are doing is so important need to stop and assess some things. The only time that I think is important is the time when you are doing things to further the kingdom of God, be it in your workplace or church. The time you are spending with your family, while great, has to be recognized as a gift from God, and not necessarily a right for you to have. I am sure the apostles left family and friends behind. They suffered greatly; with all of them paying the ultimate price for their faith, save John. John, just so you know, was boiled in oil, but he didn’t die and was banished. None were granted old age with riches and grandchildren running about.
Every time this topic comes up I think back to a story that Dr. Scott told. He said look at Noah. God gave him a decree to build a boat. This boat took him a while to make, just go back and read the story. Noah didn’t start talking to God about family time and time off of work for vacations. God said do it and Moses did. His family joined him. God wants you, your heart and your time first and foremost. He is not going to lay on you more than you can bear. But you have to be willing to put Him first ahead of all, even your family.
I throw this aside in here for something else. For us to think about this idea of time, because when time is brought up we start marking off sections of hours, days, weeks, months and years. We feel God has to give us things like vacations, money and the good life, etc. But the truth is God doesn’t owe us anything. We aren’t guaranteed that we will live to see tomorrow. All the things we have are gifts and we should enjoy them. Just like those people who built their first house and just like those doctors and nurses who were blessed to be the first ones into that new hospital facility. Thank God for the time we have to do something of importance for God and the kingdom, and His working through us. And let’s all be grateful for all the time He gives us that we waste. Yet He still forgives all those shortcomings and blesses us immensely, with money and a place to live, instead of giving us what we deserve – death. Praise God and thank Him for the blessings that He does bestow on you and me.
Grace and Peace to you,
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