The Vanity of the Faith-less Life
"Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains for ever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." 1
One second: just enough time to click on an icon, type a word, summon a waiter, or drop a glass of water on the cold, stone floor. Neither here nor there.
One minute: enough time to brew a cup of tea, check the day's mail, tell a cold caller to get lost, or greet a relative stranger. Hardly worth the bother.
One hour: enough time to read a newspaper, watch a soap opera, walk the dog, or kick a ball around with your son. So many choices, so little time.
One day: claw your way out of bed, stuff your face with mushy cereal, drag yourself off to work, stagger home exhausted, slump down in front of the television, then clamber back upstairs and hide under the blankets. Is this all there is to life?
One week: a cycle of frustration that may start with good intentions but falters within the first few minutes of Monday morning; a never-ending hamster wheel of activity that leaves you increasingly stressed and agitated, and ends six days later with you drowning your sorrows in sports or sex or booze. 2.3 million years of human evolution and this is it?
One year: ample time to suffer yet another birthday, lose a little more hair, gain a few more pounds, pick up an extra couple of wrinkles, and unwrap yet another hideous Christmas tie from Auntie Ethel. Hurray!
One lifetime: just about enough time to crawl out of the womb, become mobile, learn to say "no", make some friends, graduate, fall in love, fall out of love, marry, reproduce, get some things right and plenty of stuff wrong, watch the next generation repeat the very same mistakes, become sick, grow weary, die. The End?
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." 2
The Value of the Faith-filled Life
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." 3
One lifetime: just about enough time to get yourself ready for eternity.
One year: ample time to read through your Bible cover to cover.
One week: a cycle of fulfilment that charges up your spiritual batteries with sufficient grace to walk tall, live holy, talk pure, act kind and show love to all.
One day: open one eye, breathe a prayer, imbibe strength from the Word, prepare body and soul, enter your own personal mission field, honour God in word and thought and deed, work hard and serve others, return home tired but contented, rest.
One hour: enough time to explain the gospel, pray for everyone in your immediate family, cook a meal for that new mother, or write a note to some missionary.
One minute: enough time to email a word of encouragement to a friend, meditate on a favourite Bible verse, make your nearest and dearest a tasty sandwich, or thank God for the blessings of the day.
One second: just enough time to say, "Forgive me."
Redeem the time!
1 Ecc 1:4-6,9 NIV
2 Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 5
3 Eph 5:15-16 NKJV
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