Sunday, January 6, 2013

TODAY IS THE DAY WE'VE WAITED FOR

We don't like to talk about mortality and the shortness of life, but this morning we did just that in our worship service. At the beginning of a new year it is important that we understand that time is too precious to waste. We do not have an unlimited amount of time on this planet, with our families, with our friends, and doing all those things we loved to do and feel called to do. We do not have unlimited time, yet we keep making promises about tomorrow when the only thing we have is today!

In our message on life, time and priorities this morning, I introduced many of you to Randy Pausch and his book, The Last Lecture. Here are a couple videos with a shorter version of his lecture, talking about his values and using time:
Professor Randy Pausch and his children.
(1) Randy on Oprah and (2) Randy saying goodbye

Look up "Randy Pausch" on Youtube.com and you'll find his original "Last Lecture" (at Carnegie Melon Univ), a lecture on time management, and other interviews. He's not just a good speaker, but the urgency of his situation (pancreatic cancer) has forced him to focus all the more on the things that truly matter in life, and how we can best use this SHORT time we have.

I like this quote from one of his interviews: "The choice I get is, 'What did I do with the months I have left?'"

We continue to put off the truly important things until tomorrow. Well, today is that "tomorrow" that we've been talking about. What are the words you need to say to that person? Whom do you need to forgive? From whom should you ask for forgiveness? What is that gesture of love you've been meaning to do? Who needs your reassurance today? Who around you needs to feel loved today? We don't have tomorrow. What we do have is -- today!
 

Here are some Bible passages (some I used this morning) on the brevity of life and the wise use of the time we have:

"As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him" (Matt 4:18-20).

"Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him" (Matt 4:21-22).

"You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you.

Each man's life is but a breath" (Psalm 39:5, NIV)

"Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, 'I find no pleasure in them' – before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim" (Eccl 12:1-3, NIV).

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people..." (Gal 6:9-10, NIV)

Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity..." (Eph 5:15-16, NIV).

"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.... Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins" (James 4:13-14 & 17, NIV).

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