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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Eternity (03/10/11)

TITLE: What Do I Have Time For?
By Robyn Burke
03/11/11


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An earthquake of massive proportions struck Japan yesterday, followed by the destructive waves of the Tsunami. While we were sleeping, disaster came in waves, closer to the coast of Washington then we would like. So many lives lost, so many homes destroyed.

As I struggled with paying the bills this morning, a part of me wanted to grumble over the lack of funds. As I played the game of who gets paid this month and who gets an IOU, I was shamed as later I checked the news for updates and saw the pictures that show the tragedy and destruction.

We may be struggling folks, with our tough economy, with people out of work, but we still have it so good. And it made me think.... if I knew that tomorrow it would all be swept away by the wall of rushing water that hit Japan and Hawaii, what would I have time for?

Would I spend my time worrying about bills, paid or unpaid? Would I fuss over nothing fancy to wear this weekend? Would I obsess over all my friends status updates on FaceBook?

Or would I pick up the phone and call my children and my grandchildren?
Would I spend time with my family and dearest friends?
Would I hug my husband just a little tighter?

And what about the people I know, who don't know my friend Jesus? If my life ended tomorrow, I know I will spend eternity with Jesus. And some days, quite honestly, I yearn for that to come. But I have people in my life that I care for, deeply, who may not have a secure future in heaven if they should die...

Yesterday, before the tragedy struck Japan, we held a memorial service at the church, for an 18 year old boy who was struck and killed by a car earlier in the week. He was walking down a road late at night and in an instant, his life ended. But a new life began. His mom shared at the service that she knew her boy was in Heaven, because of his relationship with Jesus. His earthly life ended but his eternal one began. It was also celebrated that because this young man was an organ donor, seven other lives were saved.

Perhaps the most dramatic of all was the simple gospel message presented to a mourning crowd, that stirred the hearts of the hundreds in attendance and over 100 people raised their hands to indicate they were making a decision to put their lives in Christ's hands. Their eternity is now and forever, secure.

I don't have time for jealousy or coveting. I don't have time for petty arguments, worry, guilt or unforgiveness. I certainly don't have time for a pity party.

What do I have time for?

How about love? Joy? How about peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, thoughtfulness and self control? Do I have time to offer a smile to the person I meet on the street? A cup of cold water to someone in need?

Do I have time to share the love of Christ with another?

Whether I have only today, or a thousand days, I have time.


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This article has been read 398 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kate Oliver Webb03/17/11
Very moving and realistic (but not overly preachy) reminder that we need to "get a move on" because there's so much to be done. This encouraged me to be more faithful in witnessing and service. Thank you.
Sarah Heywood03/17/11
What a good reminder you wrote of keeping our eyes on what is truly important. This is a great devotional piece, without being too ponderous - I like your "voice."
Anita van der Elst03/17/11
"Timely" piece & I agree, great devotional without being preachy. It feels like it could be something shared over a cup of coffee. Thank you for taking the time to write it!
Bonnie Bowden 03/18/11
Well written devotional. I'm glad you pointed out the need to be an organ donor.
Charla Diehl 03/20/11
The mood of this piece feels urgent, as it should. It precisely spells out where priorities should lie. Hopefully your message will echo in each reader's life, today, tomorrow and always.
Noel Mitaxa 03/22/11
Thank you for earthing your grief over the incomprehensible destruction that Japan has experienced. (Closer to here New Zealand has also had its second-largest city rocked by an earthquake, while Haiti and Indonesia are still recovering from another quake and a tsunami.)
Then the grief hits your own home town and church, where there's a face on your feeling. I appreciate your positive invitation at the close, rather than another doom-laden warning that us preachers too often throw in.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/23/11
What a perfect message. We are so blessed to be where we are and to know where we will be after death. It's important to let as many people as possible to have that knowledge too. Thiswas well-written and the last line perfect
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/24/11
Congratulations for placing 7th in your level and 12th overall!