Scripture Reading—Romans 13:11-14
Deadlines focus our attention on what is important. They force us to work with a sense of urgency. The arrival of April 15 motivates us to get our taxes done. An upcoming final exam motivates students to study hard. Teams play more frenetically when the clock is winding down.
And most sobering of all, we often begin to think what is really important in life when we know our days are numbered. Paul told the Romans that if they realized how short their time was, they would change their behavior. We may not have the sense that history is about to end as Paul’s readers may have had. But his challenge is no less pertinent. The truth is our days are numbered. Our time is limited on this earth. Paul thought if people really appreciated this fact they wouldn’t spend their energy in unproductive, unsatisfying ways. Yes, there is the sense here that the works done in under the cover of night will be exposed in the light of day and we don’t want to get caught in some embarrassing or compromising situation when our true character and actions have light shined on them. It does sound like a threat--or a warning at the least. But isn’t there some good news here? Since we know our time is limited, why waste it doing things that hurt and anger other people and that ruin relationships by our self-centeredness? Why not live every moment in the full awareness of God’s love for us? Why not spend our waking moments expanding that reservoir of love? What is it in our lives that we’re doing that just isn’t worth the time? What are we doing that brings no joy to us or others? If we really believed that our time was limited, how would we want to live? Maybe answering that question is the key to knowing how we really want to live each day.
Thought for the day: Knowing that our time on earth is limited can help us discover what is really important to us. It can help us live the life—the full, joyful, abundant life—God intends for all of us.
Prayer: Dear God, please help to realize that my time on this earth is limited. Help me to discern clearly who you are calling me to be and what you are calling me to do in this time. Help me to know what is truly important. Amen.