I recently attended the memorial service for a young girl who had been in one of my SRE classes at a local school. She had been diagnosed with a degenerative illness when she was very young and sadly passed away the previous week. The service was full of amazing tributes to this young 12 year old who had touched the lives of so many.
The father spoke about how he told bedtime stories to his girls every night. He would research a topic for a few hours each day so that he could incorporate it into the story for that night. In this way he taught his girls about animals, places, people, values, recipes and so on. The girls featured in each story as they travelled in a magic telephone booth to another part of the world. He would weave their own life experiences into the story as well. As he spoke about these adventures he took his girls on, I was left thinking “Wow, this guy has been an amazing father to his girls.”
Afterwards I thanked him for sharing his parenting with us and he said to me, “When a doctor tells you that time is limited, nothing else matters. You invest in every day that you have.” I couldn’t get his answer out of my mind as I drove home afterwards.
I was reminded of the promises in the Bible that Jesus will return one day without warning.
9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. 10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed.
– 2 Peter 3:9-10
We know that time is limited for the people all around us. Yet, we live as though we have eternity. We fail to invest in every day we have. We allow petty interests to dominate our friendships and conversations. We fuss over things that are trivial. We whinge about what could have been, rather than making the best use of what is. We think tomorrow might present a better opportunity for sharing the gospel. We presume upon the delay of the Lord in returning. We miss opportunities to speak a word of encouragement, to read the Bible with another, to pray with and comfort those who struggle, to say we are sorry, and to give of ourselves for the interests of others.
Can I challenge you to repent with me. To repent of the thinking that says “there’s plenty of time”. To repent of doing what’s easy for me. To repent of failing to live in the light of Jesus’ return. To repent of wasting time and failing to invest in each day.
What might our church be like if we all did that?