Near the end of the final episode of season three of The Chosen, the writers put Jesus in a brief conversation with the Pharisee, Shmuel. The despondent Pharisee asks Him, “What are YOU losing?”
Jesus answered simply, “Time.”
I’ve been thinking about that response: “[I’m losing] time.”
That’s true for all of us, isn’t it? Aren’t we all ‘losing time?’ I mean, we have less time today to live than we did yesterday. Tomorrow we will have less time to live than we have today.
And the ever present – and what should be a sobering question we each must answer – the ever present and ever urgent question is this: “What shall we do with the time that we have?”
Solomon’s counsel in Ecclesiastes makes well that point: “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2)
JRR Tolkien hitchhikes on that theme in his trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. In that majestic parable of the ongoing battle of evil and good, Tolkien puts these words into the mouth of Gandalf, telling Frodo: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time we are given.”
The Psalmist tells us God has ordained for us only a certain number of days to live (see Psalm 139:16). My God-ordained days might run out tomorrow. So might yours. Or they may run out a long time from now. But again, the question haunts: What will I do – what will YOU do – with the time God has allotted us?
If we are not using our time to serve Christ, then we are wasting precious – enormously precious and valuable time. It is time we can never recover when it is past.
The Lord Jesus put the shortness of our ‘time’ this way: “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21
Let me close with this from C.T. Studd: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Please pay attention: Only what’s done for Christ will last.