Friday Followings: Losing An Hour

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
This weekend we officially return to Daylight Savings Time. That means that we set our clocks an hour ahead, in essence, losing an hour of our time. That got me thinking about how it is we use our time.
 
On Ash Wednesday we read Psalm 90. We were reminded that it is from dust that we came, and it is to dust we shall return. Psalm 90, verse 10 says, “The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty if we are strong.” The average lifespan for people living in the United States is 79 years. I looked it up. Psalm 90 is right on.
 
God has given you and me the precious gift of time. 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days per year. Each day, indeed each hour, are precious gifts to us from God. So, how are you using your time?
 
Jesus teaches us the way to real life is to be counter-culture. In other words, abundant life is discovered when we live cross-shaped lives. Set free by the cross of Jesus, we now live not just for self, but for God, others, and ourselves. Loving God and loving neighbor as self – that’s the key to abundant life.
 
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the man who received a phone call from his bank. “Someone has deposited $1440 into your account, but you must use it all today.” The man was confused, and the day passed while he wondered what to do with the money.
 
The next morning another phone call came. “$1440 was deposited into your account again today. The money you didn’t spend yesterday has been taken out. Use the $1440 today.” The man was a bit uncertain, but spent the money as he please.
 
The next morning the phone rang again. “This morning another $1440 was deposited into your account. You must use it all today.” The man used the money. This happened every day. Some of the money he used wisely, but some of it was used on wasteful and frivolous spending. The more the days went on, the more frivolous he became, thinking it would last forever. Then one day, the man began to worry, “What if I don’t get the money today?”
 
What’s the lesson here for you and me? God gives us 24 hours each day. That amounts to 1440 minutes every day. We need to use all 1440 each day. The next day, another 1440 minutes.
 
Of course God wants us to take care of ourselves and to enjoy our lives. But Jesus’ way, and the way of Jesus’ followers, is to find life by losing it. To discover life by serving.
 
Take some time during this season of Lent to prioritize your use of the time God grants to you. How are you using it to enjoy a closer walk with God? How much of your time is used in wasteful and frivolous ways? How much of your time is devoted to relationships with those you love, and in serving those that you may not even know?
 
With the ashen cross of Ash Wednesday still freshly remembered on your forehead, and the mark of the cross from your baptism still emblazoned upon you, give thanks for Jesus’ cross which has set you free. And be intentional about using your time… each day, each hour, in cross-shaped living.
 
God loves you. God calls you. God sends you. Use your time wisely. And don’t forget to “spring forward” an hour this weekend.
 
See you in worship as we focus on Mark 6:30-44 this weekend.
 
Pastor Tim