Time and Eternity

Once a year I make a decision to (ask Danielle) to purchase a new diary. In some shape or form I have done this for the last 20 years. There was a time when I could hold most of what was happening in my head but a diary has become a very helpful friend. The adage ‘a drop of ink is worth a thousand memories’ has proved true for me.

Time is a great gift given to us by God, in which in one sense we are all equal. Should I live through this week, I will have 168 hours just like you. Babatunde Olatunji said, ‘Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That is why we call it the present…’

Our days can seem dreary and boring as we attend to the mundane, or even worse if we have nothing to do. Thankfulness to God for the opportunities afforded by the day can transform each day into a fresh opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life. For those who are older we are wise to recognise the inevitability of our earthly days coming to an end. The Psalmist wisely counsels us to ‘number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom’. One date that I cannot write in my new diary is my last earthly day. That day is in God’s hands.

‘I am a shadow, so art thou; I mark the time, dost thou?’ We do well to remember that the shadow on a sundial is predictable because God orders the seasons. He marks the time, not us.

Far from causing us to despair or live in fear, this daily dependence upon God for every day, in each and every breath, can lead us to a confident security in life. For one thing, we know that time on earth is nothing compared to eternity and the God of Heaven and Earth invites us frail shadows into the substance of an eternal friendship with Him. This eternal life doesn’t start when we die, but from the day that we turn our lives over to Him and accept His forgiveness through Jesus the living Saviour. When we do, we find that we want to make the best use of God’s gifts, including the present of today. We want God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven and so we will use each day for that great purpose.

Someone said that ‘time is given us to use in view of eternity’. This reality will keep us from despair and from pride, from living selfishly and aimlessly and has the potential to fill every waking hour with joy and purpose.