Pastor’s Page

Time Flies

August.  Already.  It hardly seems possible.  It seems like a just got used to writing “2018,” and in just a few months I’ll have to work on changing that to “2019.”  Yet, as the hymn writer Isaac Watts wrote, “Time, like an ever-rolling stream Soon bears us all away; We fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day.” (LSB 733:5)

As the months and years go by, moments become more precious.  With every passing day and week, how we use our time becomes more and more important to us.  We look ahead, wondering how best to spend the hours we have left.  We look back, sometimes with regret at the hours we have spent and squandered on what we now realize were unimportant things.

Years ago, I had the privilege of listening to a lecture given by then soon-to-be Synodical President Al Barry.  Al told us about a visit he had made to his dad, shortly after his dad’s retirement.  As Al approached the house, he saw his dad sitting on the front porch, with a book on his lap.  His dad was crying.  

Al asked what was wrong.  His dad told him how he had always thought about reading the Bible, but never had enough time for it.  He figured he’d get to it eventually.  At last, in his retirement, he finally sat down to do it.  He was crying because he hadn’t done it sooner.  He had spent so much time on other things in his life, but by neglecting the Word he had missed out on these beautiful words with their beautiful promises.  This One Thing would have given him so much help and strength and comfort.  

Recently, I heard someone say, “I don’t know the Bible very well, but …”  Well, whose fault is that?  It’s certainly nothing to be proud of, nor should it be considered ‘normal’ or ‘okay.’ 

“But I have no time to read the Bible.”  Really?  Maybe you should do a little ‘time assessment’ of your life, writing down how you spend the minutes of each day.  And pay attention to the details.  For instance, did you know that commercials comprise over 14 minutes in every hour of television?  Not that I would suggest you split your attention between watching reruns of “Law and Order” or “MASH” and reading chapters of Genesis during the commercials—or maybe you could start there (but mute the TV).      

If television isn’t your thing, how do you spend your time each day?  What can you trade off or give up for fifteen or thirty minutes to read the Bible and to pray?  If you’re working so much that you’re too busy to spend time each day in God’s Word and in prayer then, frankly, you’re too busy.  Something’s got to give in your life before what gives is you.  

Rest and recreation are important to a healthy and God-pleasing life.  So, too, is the re-creation that God works in us when He comes to us in His Word.  It’s a gift God wants you to have, and you can’t get it any other way than in the Bible.  So take the time and get to know this Book God has given you.  

After all, time is flying, and you don’t know how much of it you have left.  

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:14-17

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