Let’s get to work while we still have time

When I’m really busy or loaded down with deadlines, my default is to stop working and play. The more I have to do, the more I want to do nothing. I’m not sure what that is or where it comes from, but it’s one of the weaknesses I’ve noticed about myself. And it’s a pain in the butt.

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot to do. And the things I’m doing are important. I’m following Jesus with everything I have, writing for Him, working for Him, loving people for Him, trying to live according to His Word. In the end, it doesn’t matter what I feel like doing. It comes down to what I am doing and what I haven’t done.

time-watch-hands-of-a-clock-clock-pointersToday’s verses are Romans 13:11-12.

This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.

There’s not a lot of time left. I’m not sure how many people are willing to accept that, but the world is getting darker by the moment. If you’re a Christ-follower, you can’t ignore that fact. The longer the world goes on in this state, the more trouble we get into.

This world and our lives here won’t last forever, and it’s becoming more and more obvious that our time is running out. We have a limited span of time to be here before God calls us home, and in the big picture of eternity, our handful of decades on Earth isn’t very long. But God gave it to us for a reason.

You can do a lot in 70 years. Heck, you can do accomplish a lot in 32 years, if you’re willing to work hard and do what God says is right. But it’s not easy. And you run into those days where you don’t want to do anything, where life just feels like you’re running in circles, like you aren’t actually accomplishing anything.

And maybe you’re not. Maybe you really are spinning your wheels, and if that’s the case, you need to stop and think about your situation. Are you really doing what God has called you to do? Or are you just staying put because that’s where you’re comfortable?

Our time here is running out, and God put us on this Earth to work for Him. I know it’s frustrating to be so busy you can’t keep your head above water, but that’s where priorities come into play. That’s where we need to start making the hard choices that will allow us to do the things that matter and let the things that don’t slip away.

What has God called you to do in your life? Are you doing it? If you aren’t, why not?

There’s nothing wrong with resting. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break. We all need it from time to time, and it’s important that we take the time we need to recover when we’re tired. But don’t stay there. Don’t keep sitting when you need to be moving. Don’t keep resting when you need to get back to work. We all have jobs to do.

The sunlight is nearly gone, and soon it’ll be too dark to work. So let’s get busy about God’s work now, while we still have the time.

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Sun rising over milo at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Even sunlight fails

Have you ever seen an eclipse? They’re pretty shocking, if you haven’t experienced one. For it to be daylight but not … it’s unsettling.

From some early morning googling, it seems the first recorded solar eclipse took place around 3340 B.C. That’s more than 5,000 years ago! Can you imagine what people were thinking when that happened? There are eclipses mentioned throughout historical documents and literature all throughout the ancient world. Again, thanks to Google, apparently there’s an eclipse mentioned in Amos 8:9 (http://www.earthview.com/ages/history.htm) that took place in 763 B.C.

Eclipses are something that people have been watching for thousands of years, and I can only imagine how puzzled people must have been when they first started studying them. But for those people who looked at the Sun as though it were a god to be worshipped, an eclipse must have frightened them. For all they knew, sunlight was supposed to be constant and unwavering. The sun was always supposed to shine. It would shine until it set, and then it would shine again as it rose.

Maybe there is some benefit to eclipses that I don’t know about, like for nature or the universe or something, but for all I can tell, an eclipse exists for one purpose: To demonstrate that even sunlight isn’t constant. People who worship the Sun must have freaked out way back when because when the object of their worship went dark for no reason at all, they had no idea why it happened. Granted, we live in a more educated culture now, so we understand it. Or do we?

Sun rising over milo at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Sun rising over milo at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is James 1:17.Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

I’ve always loved this verse, but when I was a freshman in college, I learned to love it even more because I found out what the words meant. I took an astronomy course that year, and my teacher was a believer (it was a Christian college, but I think he might have been one of the only truly kind people there).

In any case, that statement “never changes or casts a shifting shadow” is actually in reference to the rising and setting of the sun, and the part about a shifting shadow is in reference to an eclipse.

Check it out in the Amplified Version:

Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].

Isn’t that cool? The Book of James might have been written as early as A.D. 45, and the fact that we can find something like this in there is pretty amazing. Astronomical, maybe?

So what does this mean for us today?

Well, here’s the deal. The Sun is obvious. It’s easy to look at the sun and trust that it’s going to keep shining no matter what. And now, in our advanced and educated era, we understand eclipses. We know what they are, and we know why they happen. We can even predict them! (There will be a solar eclipse in May this year.)

But the Sun is part of a created system, something God imagined and made for us to enjoy. Now what our world has done is turned the creation into a god or because we “understand” it, we consider ourselves gods. But the Sun, as powerful as it may be, isn’t in control of what it does or doesn’t do. It’s a star. It’s an average yellow star tucked away at the edge of an average galaxy in an ever-widening universe.

It’s tempting to put our trust in science and the things we can explain. The things we can’t explain or can’t understand are scary, so we either make up explanations or we ignore them. That’s what we’ve done with God. I’m sure that’s what people did with eclipses until they could explain what they actually were.

An eclipse is a sign that even sunlight fails sometimes. Even something that we think is as constant as sunlight can be darkened in an instant if God wants it to be. But God doesn’t experience eclipses. He doesn’t rise or set like a sun; He is constant. And there’s nothing in existence that can blot out His light.

So if you’re out and about today and the sun is shining (or even if it isn’t), remember to thank God for the gift of light, but remember that light isn’t a constant. And the light shining on us is only here because God wants to be. But what’s nice to know is that even if the sun stops shining, God doesn’t.