It has been said, "Like sand through an hourglass, so are the days of our lives." Time waits for no one. The Rolling Stones put that truth to music in 1974. Second by second, minute by minute, time's passing is inexorable, relentless. As each second ticks away, it is gone forever. It will never come our way again; we have it but once.
A few evenings ago, while my wife and I were driving, I pointed out a striking image in the evening sky. It was a crescent moon, just a sliver, with two brightly shining stars just beneath it and off to the right a bit. Later, I learned that what had appeared to be the two stars were actually the planets Venus and Jupiter. I was impressed, having been able to see two distant planets so very clearly. I also learned that they will not appear again in that particular alignment with the moon for another fifty years. If I had known that at the moment, I might have lingered over the sight a little longer. Most likely, I won't be here to see it the next time around.
I wonder what things will be like fifty five years from now. The world's population has more than doubled over the last fifty five years. It is projected to increase by about another fifty percent over the next fifty five years. Based on the technological advances of that last five decades one can only imagine what the future holds. I remember looking at a piece of sculpture in an art museum that dated from about the time of King David, around 1000 BC. I've often traveled back in time, in my mind's eye, to centuries past and tried to imagine what things must have been like.
We can dream about the past and the future, but the present is the only time that we truly possess, the only time with which we can work in any meaningful way to make a difference in our lives. We cannot go back to reclaim the past. The future is not yet here. But we have right now, and we can do a great deal with that. In fact, if we use our time in the present to its greatest advantage, we can look forward to some assurances in the future. If we foolishly waste our time in the here and now, our future is bleak!
To the faithful Christian, the apostle Peter writes of an eternal inheritance "reserved in Heaven for you" (1 Pet. 1:3-4). What a blessing to have the ultimate assurance for the future- eternal life with God in Heaven! But just as a wise person takes appropriate steps in the present to insure his future in this world, so must a wise person take appropriate action on the spiritual side of life now to assure his eternal future. The apostle Paul states, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2). Now is the time when we need to come to our Savior in faith (Jn. 8:24), repent of our sins (Acts 3:19), confess our faith in Him (Rom. 10:9-10) and be baptized "into Him" (Rom. 6:3) for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Then we can be assured of our salvation (Mk. 16:15-16).
If, however, we foolishly waste all of our time in the present, we will face eternity unprepared. James warns, "...to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (Jas. 4:17). Like sand through an hourglass, the days of your life are passing away. Use this time that you have before you, and come to your Lord. Then you can look to eternity with assurance..
Gary L. Hutchens