Category Archives: time

“I Wish I Had More Time”

James Foley was ruthlessly murdered by Islamic terrorists. A video of his beheading has been posted on the internet by the terrorists in hopes of inciting fear throughout the world. Though I have not and will not watch the video, I understand that just before he is murdered he says on the video these heart wrenching words: “I wish I had more time.” Our hearts go out to his family. But his words and death teach us a very important lesson–none of us know what life will bring our way the next second, the next minute, the next hour, the next day or the next year. All of us wish we had more time.

The patriarchs lived into the hundreds of years but even their lives were relatively short. When you compare a hundred years or even a thousand years with eternity, you realize that you don’t even begin to scratch the surface of time. But no matter how much time we are given in this life, we are really never quite ready when it is taken away from us or those we love. The time you and I are given in this life is so precious, so very precious. But sometimes we act as if we have all the time in the world and we really don’t. We should “remember how short my time is” (Psalm 89:47).

Even when I was younger I realized time was fleeting. I was never one of those who felt that I was invincible or that time would never catch up with me. I know I have not always used my time wisely, however, even though I knew I should not waste it. But one of the hardest tasks in life is to keep consistently focused on the important things. The cares of this world tend to choke the life out of us, if we are not ever vigilant and sober (Matt. 13:22). All too often we spend our time on the frivolous and mundane and do not give proper attention to the things which are eternal (II Cor. 4:1). Because we are given so precious little time, we should redeem every second of it (Eph. 5:16).

The ironic thing is that God wants to give us all the time there is! He has promised us everlasting life (John 3:6)! The Lord has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (II Tim. 1:10). If we could only realize that we are given a short period of time here in this life to develop our own character to be like God’s, then God will bless us with everlasting life (I John 5:13; Jude 21). Do we want to lay hold on eternal life? Then we must fight the good fight of faith (I im. 6:12). The promise of life is ours if we want it, the way to obtain has been made known to us, all we have to do is to lay hold on it!

We must realize that the fortunes of this life are not always under our control. Sometimes our lives are tragically taken from us by a horrible accident. At other times it is taken by some demented sadist, as in the case of Foley. Sometimes we face hardships and troubles so intense, that, under those circumstances, it is easy to understand the desire for these to come to an end. Even Paul had a desire to depart and to be with Christ (Phil. 1:23). We cannot know what the morrow may bring us (Prov. 27:1). Therefore, we must always be ready (Mark 13:37).

Therefore we must continue to fight the good fight of faith and to do all that we can possibly do in this life so that when that when this life does come to a close for us we may say with the apostle Paul, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (II Tim. 4:6-8).

Eric L. Padgett

Lost Moments

Have you ever been given a unique opportunity but then wasted the moment? All of us have probably done this, probably over and over again, to our never ending regret. But the Bible implores us to “redeem the time” (Eph. 5:16). Since death is a certainty for us all (unless the Lord should return, of course), time is so very precious (Heb. 9:27). James adds that our lives here are as a vapor that appears for just a brief moment of time, then vanishes silently away (James 4:14). We need to learn to redeem the time and not let precious moments pass.

We should not let the moment pass when we tell someone we care deeply about that we love them. For some reason, these words are sometimes hard for us to say. Maybe because it leaves us vulnerable and our hearts exposed. Unfortunately, we often only say these words when we fear we might loose someone, and then it is sometimes too late! Since life is so uncertain, we can not know when will be the last time we can speak these words to someone. How terribly sad it is to let this tender moment pass because of fear or any other vain emotion! How painful it will be to bear the memory of such a moment lost forever!

We should not let the moment pass when we sincerely compliment someone. How stingy we are with our compliments and free with complaints. Sometimes we act as if it hurts us to compliment someone, almost as if it depletes our own store of confidence. But it doesn’t and in fact it adds to our stature at the same time it encourages others. A sincere–and the key here is the word “sincere”–compliment is such a simple yet powerful act that lasts well beyond the words uttered. But if we let the moment pass, that moment can never be regained.

We should not let the moment pass to do something bold. Life is so often full of the routine and humdrum, that we can get burned out. But one injection of boldness or excitement–in Christian moderation–can restore necessary zest for life. If we pass on an opportunity to do something unique or grand, we might live with regret the rest of our lives.

We should not let the moment pass to stand up for the right (I Cor. 16:13; Acts 18:9). Too often, to avoid conflict, we say nothing when the truth is distorted, abused or attacked. For some reason, whether because of fear of rejection, or fear of rocking the boat, or fear of being seen as a trouble-maker, or a host of other rationalizations, we hold our peace. The truth is the truth whether we defend it or not and we will all be judged by that truth. But men’s perception of the truth can be damaged if we stay silent when an attack is launched and, consequently, men’s lives and souls destroyed (Gal. 2:1-4). Reprove, rebuke and exhort should be the maxim by which we conduct ourselves in relation to the truth (II Tim. 4:2).

We should not let the moment pass to go to God in prayer (I Thess. 5:17). God should not just be a pressure gauge that we go to when we need relief! We should never fail to give God thanks for His bounty, we should not let the moment pass to request His providential aid, we should not let the moment pass to pour out our heart to God in a quiet hour. How often and easily we go to God in prayer is directly related to how close we are to God.

We should not let the moment pass to tell someone that we forgive them. If someone sincerely requests our forgiveness, we should not let the moment pass to offer that forgiveness (Luke 17:3,4). How much damage may be done by not forgiving we may never know (II Cor. 2:7,8). It could last an eternity! Do we want that kind of guilt on our shoulders? When we hold a grudge and let it fester, it darkens our soul and conscience. It colors our view of everything we do in life. We should relieve ourselves of the unnecessary burden of smoldering malice and seize the moment to forgive.

We should not let the moment pass to tell some one of Jesus. How sad it will be on the day of judgement when we hear someone say, “You never mentioned Him to me.” We may only have one opportunity to introduce the Lord to someone we meet, and if we let the moment pass without seizing the opportunity, that soul may never again be able to hear the truth (Acts 20:31). God may require their blood at our hand (Ezek. 3;18). If we do convert the sinner from the error of his way, we may just save a soul from death and hide multitude of sins (James 5:19,20).

We should not let the moment pass to obey the Lord. Some people know they should obey the Lord but want to “sow their wild oats” first. And so they wait. Sometimes they wait too long and their life is snatched from them in one brief, tragic moment. Because our life is but a vapor, we know not what the morrow may hold (James 4:14; Prov. 27:1). When our life comes to a close, as it surely will (Heb. 9:27), there will be no other opportunity to obey. Our eternal destiny will be sealed. How terribly sad it will be to hear the Lord say,”Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire” (Matt. 25:41). Perhaps the flames of perdition will burn even hotter as we constantly are reminded that we had an opportunity but let the opportunity to obey the Lord pass.

Eric L. Padgett