Monday, February 11, 2008

The Autumn of Life



I've been to quite a few funerals in the past few years. I preached two of them and served as a pallbearer at my aunt's funeral last Tuesday. It's got me thinking a bit about how quickly life passes by. Scripture paints the picture very vividly.

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4:14).

As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer (Psalm 103:15-16).

There are many more Scriptures I could cite, but you get the idea. Of course, those of us who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have the hope of resurrection and eternal life. We know from the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians that to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord. These promises are comforting, but I think it's healthy and good to ponder just how quickly our lives pass by, and to consider just how we are spending the time God has alloted to us.

I am in my late 40s. It doesn't seem like it's been 30 years since I graduated from high school. It doesn't seem like 30 years since I sat behind a radio microphone for the first time. When I see people with whom I grew up, I am stunned to see the effects of time's passage. Some of us are a bit better preserved than others. I am often told I don't look my age. My bald head gives it away as my face is unlined. I only recently began to have grey showing up in my beard and temples. However, my body tells me of advancing age. I have arthritis in my neck and lower back. I tire more quickly these days. I'm a bit more irritable than before. And so on.

It amazes me that the children I used to take care of now tower over me and can pick me up. They are marrying and having children of their own. My oldest sister will be 64 this year. My mother will be 85. I left full time radio 15 years ago. I have been with my present employer that long. Where does time go? That's another thing about advancing age. Time used to drag on and on when I was younger. Now it seems to race by at warp speed. My joke used to be "Auntie Em, Auntie Em, the hourglass is almost empty." Now it's not as much of a joke.

Will I live to old age? Will I be around to see the return of the Lord, or will I be among those who return with Him? Will I continue to live in a land with relative freedom, or will I witness the onset of persecution and oppression? Will my church continue on the path of biblical truth or will it join so many others these days and plunge into apostasy? I don't know. I just pray that I will be found faithful no matter what happens. Psalm 90:12 asks the Lord to teach us to number our days, that we might present to Him a heart of wisdom. That's a good prayer to keep offering.

I guess my last comment is this. All of us who name the name of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior would do well to keep time in mind. I've certainly wasted enough of it. I don't want to waste any more. May He redeem the time I have left for His glory.

1 comment:

Randy said...

Joel,

Well written post. More importantly, how true. I've had some same ponderings lately. I've lost some loved ones in the past few years, and wonder where all of my fifty years have gone!

Scripture is so true when it says to redeem the time.

Good post my friend,

Randy