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Getting older. Getting closer.

As a young boy, sometimes I’d think, In the year 2000, I’ll be 45 years old. Wow, that’s old!

Guess what? My perspective has changed—in part because the year 2000 is little more than a fast-receding blip in our temporal rearview mirror. This month I’m going to be . . . well, I’ll let you do the math.

When I was that boy who thought that 45 was ancient, I smiled when I heard older folks observe, “My, how time flies!” But now that I’m one of those older folks, I find myself echoing my elders when it comes to the passing of time.

Yet, lamenting the rapid passing of time will do little good. It’s what we do with the time given us that counts! Benjamin Franklin once quipped, “Lost time is never found again.” How true. Ben also observed, “You may delay, but time will not.” True again.

So how will we Christians make wise use of our time? In quite a few different ways—ways that reflect our interests, our careers, and our stage in life. Some of us are going to buckle down on an exercise regimen that may help us regain upper-body strength or help us cope with the chronic aches and pains of aging. Others will invest extra time in a hobby. Still others will seek to sharpen professional skills. That, of course, will be different for each of us.

We’re not just getting older, but also closer—closer to the goal our Lord intended for each of us when he sent his Son Jesus into this world as the Savior.

Your wise use of time may differ from mine in many ways. And yet, I pray, it will be exactly the same in one key respect. How so? The apostle Paul also observed the rapid passing of time. That’s why he urged, “It is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost over, and the day is drawing near. So let us put away the deeds of darkness and put on the weapons of light” (Romans 13:11,12).

Notice how Paul compares our life to the passing of a night? If we’re blessed with a peaceful night’s rest, we don’t notice the passing of the minutes or the hours. All we notice is our alarm clock rattling its way across the dresser at 6:10 a.m. The night itself flies by.

So also our life flies by. That means “our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” We’re not just getting older, but also closer—closer to the goal our Lord intended for each of us when he sent his Son Jesus into this world as the Savior.

We’re getting closer—closer to an end to chronic pain, depression, loneliness, sadness, worry, tears, and fears. We’re getting closer—closer to that place where our Savior will be our light throughout eternity.

Are we ready? Only the Lord knows the moment when he will take us home (Psalm 31:15; Psalm 39:4; Matthew 24:44). And only by faith in Jesus will you and I be ready to take hold of our Savior’s hand and cross over from this life into eternity (John 5:24; Mark 16:16).

It’s no wonder that the apostle Paul urged us all to “make the most of your time. . . . Be filled with the Spirit by speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (singing and making music with your hearts to the Lord), by always giving thanks for everything to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:16,18-20).

The Scripture references used in this article are from the Evangelical Heritage Version.

Author: Glenn L. Schwanke
Volume 107, Number 06
Issue: June 2020

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