As you read this article you are aging. By the end of this article you will have approximately five minutes less of your overall life than you possessed before. Five minutes don’t seem like much, but the problem is that we rarely stop to look back at the big picture. Those little bits and pieces of a few minutes here and a few hours there quickly add up into months and years. It’s only when we pause from our fast-paced life to look behind us that we see how quickly time is passing. There are many goals, projects, and experiences we want to complete some time soon – but just not right now! We all plan to “get around to it” later. Like children lagging behind their parents and then yelling, “Wait up for me,” it is almost as though we expect time to do the same. We tend to lead our lives as though we expect time to all of a sudden temporarily halt, allow us to finish our unfulfilled goals and projects, and then “catch up” to it before it starts marching onward again.
Time is a cruel taskmaster. It waits for no man. One minute we have acne, the next we have wrinkles. One minute we worry about having fashionable baggy, slouchy pants, and the next minute we notice the middle age spread encroaching upon our waist and we hike up our pants over the protruding bulge. One minute we are trying to memorize the names of our new classmates, and the next we’re trying to remember the names of our grandchildren. We preen and style our hair in our teens, and then (at least the men) watch in horror as our hair changes to grey and white and it silently and mercilessly falls out. It happens so fast! It is little wonder that Moses, a man who experienced much in his life, prayed to God and asked Him, to “teach us to number our days.” God’s Word tells us our life is like a shadow that declines, grass that withers, and a puff of smoke that dissipates so quickly. The writer of Psalm 89 noticed the brevity of life, how minutes quickly turn into years that cannot be recaptured. His angst was so great that he cries out: “How short my time is!” (Ps 89:47).
If we recognized the brevity of our life we would place priority on key issues. Solomon, a man who could say about life’s varied experiences, “I’ve been there and done that,” summarized that all of the things we try to pack into our life are meaningless when it comes to the big picture. When we consider that time is encircled by eternity – that never-ending (and, to some,) nebulous existence beyond life – somehow the parties, the fame, the financial plans, and the retirement villa become insignificant. It is shortsighted to plan for only this life when it is so small in comparison to eternity.
The Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27). Every one of us has sinned. We have fallen short of God’s holy standard of perfection. That sin leads ultimately to death, hell, and the lake of fire, which includes eternal separation from God. However, in His goodness and mercy, God has made a way for our sins to be forgiven. Unlike our own difficulty monitoring the passing of time, the Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ, “in the fullness of time,” or at the exact time that God intended, entered the world (Gal 4:4). And, at just the intended moment, He went to the cross of Calvary where He was punished and then died on behalf of the sinner. Because of Christ’s mighty death and resurrection, God can offer forgiveness to the sinner; He has already done what was necessary to justly forgive the sinner. The Bible tells us, As many as received Him (the Lord Jesus Christ), to them gave He the authority to be called the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name (John 1:12). You can have your sins forgiven and become part of God’s family by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your substitute and Savior!
How short my time is! Continuing to plan“some day” to receive forgiveness of sins and peace with God is unwise and dangerous. The Bible stresses “Behold, now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2). Our minutes will continue to slip by, and the days and weeks will quickly turn into years, and then, for us, eternity will begin. We have to make preparation for eternity in this life. We cannot re-live lost moments, or purchase further moments to extend our life a little longer. We have been duly warned: “How short my time is!”