Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised. Job 1:21
Victor Borge, the renowned pianist, once told a friend that he could tell time by his piano. The friend wasn’t convinced so Borge proceeded to prove his point. He immediately began playing a resounding march. In only moments there was a noisy banging on the wall and a voice on the other side screamed, “Stop that noise! Don’t you know it’s 1:30 in the morning?”
Borge may be able to tell time by his music, but he can’t stop time. Only God can do that. Have you ever noticed that time is like an unending river, and once your craft is launched on it, there is no turning back, no stopping it? Like a river which may wind through a meadow, there are seasons in our lives when it seems that time moves very slowly. Then there are other times when it seems that the craft of our lives is carried faster and faster through the turbulence of white water rapids. And more than anything else, we would like to slow things down–just for a little while. But we can’t.
Mario Andretti was like that. Remember the famed Italian race car driver? As he talked with reporters before driving his final Indianapolis 500 at the age of 54, he said, “It’s not my fault that the years go by. If I could make a deal with somebody and buy five or six years of this life, I would.” Think of it–trading his millions for just a few more years of peak performance racing.
He couldn’t buy time, and neither could one of the world’s richest, if not the richest woman in the world. As she lay on her death bed, the best doctors in the world at her side trying to save her life, Queen Victoria, whose British Isles were at the peak of their glory, cried out, “My kingdom, my kingdom for an inch of time.”
A strange thing–this entity that we call time. Scientists, philosophers, and theologians strive to understand it, yet at the very time they ponder it, all of them are controlled by it.
I can tell you what you already know: that if you don’t use it, you lose it. I can also remind you that the farther you travel on the river of time, the faster it seems to carry you. We talk about time but can actually do little about it. This side of eternity, time is a fixed commodity, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. God trades neither money nor kingdoms for more of it.
The only thing we can really do about time is to learn to use the moment, to take advantage of what lies in your grasp. The sad thing is that so often when there is a rainy day, people are distraught because they cannot go somewhere or do something.
If there is any wisdom acquired in aging, it surely must include the importance of using time wisely, of saying what you meant to say while the person you love can still hear those words, of writing the letter you have been intending to write while a friend can yet read it.
I used to wonder how just God is in fixing a person’s eternal destiny based on such a short period of perhaps 70 or 80 years, yet we are such creatures of habit that few of us would really change our lifestyles should we live centuries beyond the biblical three-score-and-ten or 70 years.
God has given you today to make preparation for eternity. It’s all part of His gracious goodness. Take time to get to know God, to love Him, and to use this day to glorify Him. Make today count.
Resource reading: Job 2:1-10.