The Star Democrat

Pondering the passage of time

- BY REV. DANIEL T. GEDMAN

While we know we are eternal beings in Christ with our place reserved for us, we are nonetheles­s still bound by time in this world. Time is an interestin­g commodity in that it cannot be saved or stored. It cannot be recovered or altered. We cannot stop it, slow it down, or reverse it. Once a measure of time has passed, it is gone. It becomes history. Time simply, irrevocabl­y and sometimes painfully marches on. Time will not wait for us. We must live each moment to the fullest.

I hope I am not the only one who contemplat­es upon the passage of time, and particular­ly how fast it seems to be passing. It is humbling to mull over how much time has passed us by. I wonder how much time I’ve spent sitting at red lights, in traffic jams, or in drive-thru lines. I wonder how much time I’ve spent staring mindlessly at the television; and yes, for me that includes watching the news. For others the question might be how much time do you spend staring at your phones or other devices? I wonder how time lost in these areas of life compares to the time spent doing and accomplish­ing relevant tasks or even how it compares to the time spent reading the Bible, praying, or worshippin­g? I just wonder.

I wonder how much earthly time I have left. How will I spend that time? Will it be productive? Will I reject things that waste my time in favor of something else? Will I spend more time with Jesus or will I spend my time the same as always?

I should probably spend some time evaluating the use of my time. Since it is limited in this world, and only God knows how much time I have — perhaps I should pray upon it all the more.

This, perhaps, is a good time to ask the philosophi­cal question: “If you knew you had only one year to live, how would you spend that year?” It is, in some ways, a “Bucket List” quandary, but I think more importantl­y, it is a list of those things we deem most important. Of course, we all know there are those tasks and responsibi­lities that we simply must do, even if we would choose not to do them. Those things are simply the ways of the world in which we live. Neverthele­ss, it is the remaining time that we must seriously consider.

What about our calendars? As I think about it, I seem to be quite good at scheduling those things I want to do but not quite so good at scheduling those things Jesus wants me to do. When it is “I,” it seems there is always time. When it is Jesus, it seems I can put him off time and time again. When I think about it, a good part of those things I want to do really are not that relevant while I am certain that which Jesus wants me to do is completely relevant. Hmmm, it seems like I have some work to do.

Any time is a good time to consider these things. As Christians, our time is not our own, it belongs to God. Since God grants us each minute of each day, it seems we should be in fervent prayer considerin­g what God wants us to do — not the least of which may be to spend more time with him in prayer, worship and reading our Bibles.

Since only God knows how much time I have — perhaps I should check with Him.

Today, I close with a prayer by Richard Baxter (1615-1691) entitled “Draw Me Close, In Your Time.”

“Can such a heart be worth having? Make it so, Lord, and then it is yours. Take it to yourself, and then take me. Like a feeble child to a tender mother I look to you and stretch out my hands, I long to have you take them.

“You know I weary not for your work. I am willing to stay while you here employ me. I dare not be so impatient of living, as to beg you to cut off my time. Nor would I stay when my work is done, and remain under your feet.

“I am content, Lord, to wait for your time, and go your way, if you will take me into your barn when you see that I am ripe.

“I am content to wait, but not to lose you. Quicken my dull desires, and blow on the dying spark of love. Do not leave me until I can scarcely cry out, As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. Where can I find him to come and stand before him?

“Draw forth my soul unto yourself by the secret power of your love, as the sunshine in the spring draws creatures from their winter homes. Meet it halfway, draw me to yourself, like a compass is drawn to the north. Dispel the clouds that hide your love from me, or remove the scales that keep my eyes from beholding you. Amen.”

Peace be with you until next time! Happy NewYear!

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