14 “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
James 4:14 (NIV)
When I was in college, I competed in the pole vault and my dad came to all my meets to tape my jumps so I could review the film later. Recently I found a VHS tape that had my entire senior season on it (it’s been a few years since college). I popped it into my VCR and let the memories come flooding back. The good meets, the not-so-good meets, the jumps where bars were cleared by feet, and the ugly jumps were all relived. When the tape ended, my last meet completed, I sat back and was struck with an unsettling feeling. I had watched my entire senior year in half an hour. Half an hour was all it took to watch the whole of what I had centered my life around for so long.
Maybe if I had been a heptathlete or maybe if I had pursued basketball I would have had more film to watch. But even then, the tape would end. Athlete, eventually everything in your life will end, including your life on earth.
Years ago I heard this saying: “There are two things that will last: God’s Word and people’s souls.” There are a few things I regret in my life. One of them is that I didn’t spend more of my college years investing in these two things that will last forever. Instead, I invested so much of my time in something that lasted half an hour.
Prayer to consider today: Lord, I am saddened for time lost, but hopeful for the time now that You have given me. Let me take advantage of however much time I have left on this earth to invest in Your Word and people’s souls. Use me, Lord, to share Your love with those around me. Keep my eyes and ears attentive to what You are calling me to do each day.
Reflect: Where are you investing your time?
Challenge: Look at the things that fill your time. Are there things that you could erase from your schedule so that you can invest something eternal? Working around the things that can’t be removed, how can you make sure you’re investing your time in things that will last?
Outreach Challenge: Leave a thank you note for your mailman, newspaper carrier, dorm janitor, etc. Someone who does an important, but seemingly menial job and would probably not be noticed unless they stopped.