An eye on eternity - 23 November 2023
By Ewald Schmidt
Don't Make Rash Promises Life is Useless Thoughts about Life Obey the King The Wicked and the Righteous Thoughts on Wisdom and Foolishness What a Wise Person Does Advice to Young People
The old Romans had the saying, tempus fugit velut umbra – time flies like a shadow. In this verse, there is a differentiation between human time and eternity (God’s time). Human time is measurable. So many hymns sing of the passing of time, like this one by Sidney Dyer: “Time is earnest, passing by; Death is earnest, drawing nigh; Sinner, wilt thou trifling be, while the voice of God doth call thee?
When we are very young, it feels as if time stands still. It seems to be such a long time before our lunch break or until dinner time. Christmas is still an eternity away. As we grow older, we are more aware of the sand in our hour glass running out. Time feels as if it is going faster. Last year this time, it was still September and now, we are a month away from Christmas. Where has the time gone?
Our human time is measurable. It is the time we are aware of – the time from our birth until our very last breath. We are ever more aware that our time is finite and, therefore, precious. May we pray with Moses in Psalm 90:12: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, Psalm 111:10 teaches us. The art of graceful living is to find every day as a gift from God’s hand. It invites us to make the most of every passing day. We need to make time to celebrate the small things along the way. Its asks of us to spend our precious time on the precious people God has put in our lives. Quality time together is the most valued gift that we can give one another. Time flies, so don’t waste it! Be aware of the things that steal your time – time thieves, like social media.
The secret is to live every day to its fullest, to find the grace and love of God in every moment, because we are also aware of another dimension of time – God’s time, eternity – the time that we are not able to measure. How do I begin to comprehend eternity before I was born? How do I grasp eternity after my death? Eternity is God’s time, where one day is like a thousand years for him and a thousand years, like one day (2 Peter 3:8). God is above time, he is not bound by it. I am too small to comprehend the magnitude of eternal time; I can only stand in awe.
I know that, one day, my time on earth will run out. I am not afraid, for I belong to the God who is in control of eternity. I trust him for my future; his love expels all fear.
Prayer: Lord, you wrote the days of my life even before I was born. You have given me a life, here and now. You fill my life with your beauty. Teach me to number my days, that I may gain wisdom, to serve you more. Thank you that I may leave eternal matters in your capable hands! Amen