Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

Rachel Nixon
Rachel Nixon

I'm sure I am not the only one to ever wonder, and say 'where has the time gone?', and especially recently I've felt like saying this quite a few times. Ever get that feeling? I read something I'd mentioned briefly on a previous life file and thought this whole theme would be good to expand on a little.

I'm always challenged by people who say, 'live everyday as your last'. How does that make you feel when people say that? Do you think it a good mantra? I'm not quite sure to be honest and I don't know what that looks like. It's an ideal that I imagine, leaving aside the question of its merit, nobody ever actually lives by. If today was my last I would probably not be sitting at my laptop typing and I probably wouldn't have minded missing my favourite TV program; I certainly wouldn't have gone shopping or been grumpy with my brother. I wouldn't have spent an hour or so on a train and I most certainly wouldn't have bothered writing essays. This is what made up some of my day. It was a good day but fairly ordinary. And on my train journey this is where I said to myself, 'where have these past few months gone?' In the ordinariness of daily life I'd begun to, as is quite natural, to look forward to holidays and when I didn't have quite so much work and busyness. I think there in lies the problem. There's something in us I think that allows us to be dissatisfied with the ordinary. Maybe because we were made for more than ordinary! But this looking forward, I mean, to a time other than this week, this moment, makes us forget the beauty of today and begin to wonder...'Just where has all this time gone!'. You see I reckon it's good to plan ahead, it makes obvious sense. But it's important we don't miss the importance of today, all be it ordinary.

'For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.'
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

It's a really famous passage and you will probably already know this well. I think its beauty is its simplicity and description that everything has it's place in time, no complications. I think we really need to live this more as Christians. There's a time for the extraordinary. And we're certainly made to be in extraordinary friendship with God. There's those times too where God calls us to do something radical or awesome. But also there's also time for food shopping, a time for resting and a time for just spending time with those people you love.

'Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.' Luke 21: 34-36

Maybe we're not weighted down with drunkenness and dissipation but sometimes we worry about the day too much and indeed feel that the day of God's return would catch us like a trap. I'd hate to be brushing my teeth or wondering what socks to wear if it were to happen. But I think what I'm pondering through all this is does it matter, whether your days are full of Godly visions or just regular happy communion with God throughout the day? That's the Key; Appreciating the time now, every moment as one more moment to grow closer to God. I think if we, I, master this, time will soon slow down and I'll be saying less and less, 'where has time gone' because we'll be content with each moment with God, rather than ignoring the present and living in the hopes of the future. If every second is a second to know God more , just being is awesome.

Or is this one of those ideals for life we never live by?
Maybe so. But I reckon it's worth a try.
Next time you're shopping, try praying as you ponder which bread to buy.
Next time you're waiting for a bus or taking a journey, try counting the number of blessings God's bestowed you.
Next time you're planning ahead, do it, do it well but move on. Don't' live in that moment, as an escape.
Next time you're cooking a meal, try visioning the sum total of God's awesome character.
Next time you're having a spring clean or tidying up, meditate on a piece of God's word.

Every moment is a moment to know God more.

Appreciate the goodness of this hour or this day and go about it, doing the ordinary with an extraordinary heart. Maybe not 'living it as your last' but living that moment as it's last. Each moment to the full potential God can give us. And if we never do the things we dreamed of, or plans don't work out quite as we'd imagined, don't worry we are living a life with the creator of the universe and have a wonderful hopeful future. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.