Rick McPherson January Newsletter, 2024

Time flies when you’re having fun!” “We had the time of our life!”

Time is running out!” “You can’t make up for lost time!” “Time waits for no one!”

The wisest man who ever lived said, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)   And, no, he wasn’t talking about football, baseball or hockey.  He was talking about life.  He went on to note:  birth, death, killing, healing, weeping, laughing, mourning, dancing, losing, keeping, discarding, loving, hating and even war and peace.  There is, “a time for every purpose under heaven.”

We would like to challenge that and use our 1,440 minutes each day as we want to and be the master of our own destiny.  Average people spend 28 years  sleeping, 15 years working, 13 years relaxing, 7 years doing housework, 6 years caring for children, 5 years socializing, 4 years eating and drinking and a single year traveling.  So, how do you spend your time? 

It does get confusing trying to determine whether our time investment makes any eternal difference, or is it all just temporary?   It was Helen Lemmel in 1922 who wrote the classic, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face.   And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”  Perhaps, she was influenced by Albert Brumley when he wrote, “This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through.  My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.  The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”  Me thinks that Helen and Albert had, “Set your mind (affection) on things above, not on things on the earth.”  (Colossians 3:2), as their inspiration.  Perhaps, it was Romans 12:2 “…do not be conformed to this world…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”  Regardless, they wrote profound theology in colloquialisms to help us delineate the temporary from the eternal.   The dilemma we have is determining the difference between the two and then choosing how we invest our time.  After all, no one has ever seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer. 

We know that there are only two things that will endure and are eternal…God’s Word and the souls of people.   Peter said, “…the grass withers and its flower falls away but the word of the Lord endures forever.”  (I Peter 1:24)  Solomon wrote, “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”  (Ecclesiastes 12:7) Therefore, reading, memorizing, meditating and obeying God’s Word has eternal value, as do people.   All lives matter.    Human life is sacred.  Investing our time in God’s Word and people has eternal significance.  Therefore, how do we invest our time?  As Francis Schaeffer wrote,   “How Shall We Then Live?”

Jesus answered these questions in the Sermon on the Mount, saying:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell.  And great was its fall.”  (Matthew 7:24-27)