I have been away from this blog for a while. Couple together my own internal struggle with calling and vocation along with the arrival of a new baby, a little boy, and time slips by you too quickly. Time does that, doesn’t it? When you have a newborn, you find yourself wishing time would move even faster to get you out of those first difficult weeks and months. In our craziness, I have reflected some on time. How should Christians view time?
I find myself struggling to live contently in the moment. Yet, this is the only place I know Christ has called me (and you) to serve. James says “ Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (4:13, 14) We spend our little misty existences longing for anytime other than now. Why? Now is when Christ our God and King seeks to meet with us. Before I can imagine my children will be grown up and out of the house. I’ll wonder where the days where I played with them in the backyard went. Then, I’ll realize they were passed up for “more important” business. How arrogant to claim time as our own little kingdom, when time and everything else, is owned and serves Christ.
Speaking of Christ, Jesus was content to live in obscurity in a little town outside any hustle-and-bustle of major metropolises for the majority of his life. While living in obscurity, he worked as a carpenter. I think Jesus’ wisdom was in part because he “numbered his days.” (Ps. 90:12) He was content every day, in every moment, to be exactly where God had him. Not so with us.
Our land offers us untold opportunities all the time. We are enamored by them. Yet, our frantic lives not only rob joy from today, they bring added stress for tomorrow. We don’t know how to be still and know God (Ps. 46). We don’t like stillness as stillness seems to remind us of our finitude, our mortality. Finitude and mortality are taboos in our country. Power, pleasure, fun, entertainment, growth, exploitation are all values of our land. In essence, we want ease. We’d rather not have an infant scream throughout the days and nights. We’d rather jump straight to the “fun” times. We are against adversity. We don’t take life one step at a time. In other words, we don’t walk with Christ.
Learning to live in the moment, to live with a deep spiritual center, to be focused on Christ and Him continually, that should be our goal. How do we accomplish this? We seek to be continually, perpetually and wholly united to Christ. We learn what it means to “pray without ceasing.” We number our days that we might learn wisdom. We learn to see every moment (and I mean literally every moment) as one in which we are either being conformed to Christ or conformed to the world. There is absolutely no neutral ground in the entire universe. That’s why every step, every moment matters.
When my son cries at night, I see my sin and frustration. I see my lack of patience and pride. If I were to simply wish those weeks away, I might fail to see what I really am on the inside. I might think myself better than I am. I might not feel so strongly my need of Jesus’ redeeming love. I might think that “I’m saved” rather than everyday “I am being saved.” In other words, I may forget repentance and walking with Christ is not a one time thing years ago, but something I need every day, one step at a time.