A Long Day and other Oxymoron’s
One of my regularly visited on-line morning devotionals, took me today to II Peter, referred to by that particular author as Peter’s Last Will and Testament. This elderly “fisherman” whom I most relate to among all other disciples, seems to be making a statement about time. My reading of II Peter took place just as the sun was rising in the east, beginning another “long” day.
As well, I was intrigued by notes scribbled in the margins of one of my older Bibles, the only available Bible for my reading this a.m. It seems that I misplaced my current text, probably left at a recent speaking engagement, the result possibly of some Sr. moment, or more likley a hurried exit to the next appointment?
This particular Bible was given to me by a Sunday School Class in the mid 70’s and carried through the early 90’s, based on the notes I was reading. This soiled twenty to thirty year old companion holds much of the thought generated by the Word and the preachers of that era, its margins full of the aspirations of this then youthful owner.
One such marginal note recommended a goal for a life style that demonstrated:
Love for Truth
Love of His Word
Love of the brethren
The latter demonstrated through the provision of energy, wisdom and resources, a prescription which I have attempted now for forty years!
These various early morning inputs, seemed to cause my spirit to ponder just what time might be and reflect on how well I am using it? Also, it has engineered a fresh revelation of the hurriedness that serving these goals has brought into my life, even to my personal detriment.
Yesterday might be representative of my point. Mid-morning, I found myself attempting to give my wife some much needed time in the yard. As humorous as it now sounds, I found myself with a phone pinched between shoulder and ear, carrying bags of mulch to strategic locations in the yard, arriving later than promised from an earlier morning meeting, and hurriedly anticipating an afternoon appointment with my personal trainer; scheduled some two weeks in advance as I attempt to bring physical exercise back into my life following a five month hiatus!
My day was as run on as the sentence I just used to describe it. A long day, with hardly enough time to complete it… we did however, get our spring grass and fertilizer job watered in before dark!
On a macro level, I am finding my overall life to be similar to these hectic days. Hoping for a long life, sufficient for a large vision, I rush from day to day, sandwiched in between phone calls and appointments, falsely expecting some semblance of balance for the sake of both quality of life and spiritual growth. My Christian life is an oxymoron, or maybe more humorously put, my wife’s husband may be a moron?
I didn’t set out for comic relief in this entry, though it may appear as such. My heart truly is about a life of sage and wisdom over humor and happiness. These reflections today however, bring me face to face with an honesty that concludes that this hurried excuse for life as Christ-follower is in fact more humorous than spiritually prescriptive. The formula drafted in my earlier days as an aspiring new believer, bent on a life of leadership may have in some way contributed to this dilemma.
Peter, in the last words of his Epistle states, “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things (the coming of the Lord), be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless.” II Pet. 3: 14 KJV
Boy have I got work to do and given my age, much territory to cover in short order. Yet even that statement recreates the dilemma addressed…not enough time…I need more than a long life.
Then, just if the writer knew that one day some well meaning elder would read these writings, caught up in a wildly active and “willfully ignorant” culture, “walking after their own lusts” … he writes,
“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.” Vs, 15b.
Thank God, that in the middle of our madness He is patiently working our salvation, redeeming our short days and our limited time.