Hello November. The weather changes, the color themes change, the ‘Holiday Season’ is officially upon us. Focus on food, presents, travel, money and such is at the year’s high.
You ever notice that your life has certain ‘seasons’ as well? Where are you right now?
Is it a joy-full spring, with light pastel colors, and fresh scents of clean linens?
Is it a care-free summer, full of vacationing, and beach-centered relaxation? (Life must be good huh?)
Or is it the opposite of these? A blistering cold – a dark, dismal, snowed-in, hopeless Winter, that seems to never end. Everything going wrong – one thing, after another, after another just keep piling up outside your door and you feel snowed in by all the negatives in your life.
I thought for a moment…and replied “can anything exist if God did not create it?” But then the questions brewed, why did He create time? Can I comprehend a time-less existence? Is it even correct to use the term create in the past tense with God… because He certainly created in my view, but in His view, He who is timeless, unchangeable, incombrehensible…is there any correct ‘tense’? And God, who is all-good, certainly did not create sin, but man made it with the choice of sin (preasant pleasure) over the perfect dwelling (paradise) with the Creator. So is time a result of our sin? Is it a consequence of our spiritual death and dwelling on this temporal world?
The 1 thing we can be certain of, is that time passes. It comes, and it goes. The few minutes you spend reading this post will never be back. The hours you spend asleep will never be relived. Disappointing? Maybe. But, maybe not. See- this sense of ‘fleeting moments’ is 1 we need to grasp. In fact, its when we are unaware of time’s passage, that we are at highest risk of not spending it well. This will cause us to not focus on the eternal.
Time is important when you dont have it. Ever notice that? The night before an exam? Or when an assignment is due? Or when you’re late for an important meeting or engagement? Every second counts. But 1 week prior, there was no sense of rushing to get in the car before that meeting so you can beat traffic. That wouldn’t make any sense.
I heard a sermon this week where the speaker reminded us to focus on the eternal. How many minutes, or seconds did I spend this last week with my mind on my eternal life? Heavenly life, or the life of Gehanna and punishment that my deeds deserve…either one – how much time did you use focused on this? Say you were awake 12 hours each day – thats 84 hours. did you spend 1% of your time focused on eternity? Less? How can I then claim to value my future life to come?
If you ask a pre-med (just an example…relax you ‘others’) student what they spent their time on, they may say studying. Because they’ve got a goal in mind of being a physician. They put forth time now as an investment for later.
If our lives in total add up to 100 years – this is nothing compared to eternity (and you dont need to remember your limits from calculus to be aware of this). Shouldn’t our mind then dwell on the eternal? The greater goal? in fact – this is what we’re reminded of by St Paul
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2 NKJV
He later exhorts us to put away the temporary pleasures. The things of this life that will end. Studies are important, but even a degree in theology won’t get us to the heavenly life. We need to refocus today.
Ugh. It just takes a minute’s reflection, join me will you? Don’t you think eternity is more important than the now? This is the daily fight of us living in the world. If I were more aware of the fixed heaven, rather than the passing world, I would live a life in pursuit of being Christ-like because thats my goal. Try it – set an alarm this week for a random time, just to reflect on heaven/what I’m doing to get there. (mine is set for Wednesday at 2 pm! #siri)
This is the good news though, brothers and sisters – that season of your life that you feel is never ending, will come to pass. Spring always follows the harshest Winter. But – persevere – because maybe there are lessons awaiting you in that cold, that you wouldnt learn if it were always warm and comfortable.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 NKJV
St Gregory of Palamas reminds us that if a farmer does not struggle, nothing grows for the harvest. After all, flowers bloom and fruit comes in spring, only after enduring the difficulty of winter. Let us be reminded today that #1thingisneeded: a daily struggle in our spiritual life, using time wisely, perseverence, awaiting that difficult season to pass, with our mind focused on our eternity with our Creator. Are you with me?
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJV
“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Colossians 4:5-6 NKJV
PS- the World (myself included) often complains about time passing and want to be younger constantly. Try this week to thank God for that thing you cannot buy, or save. Thank Him for passing time, to pull us through one season of life to the next, posing us with the opportunity for growth and repentence. Keep your spiritual watch on.