“If I only had more time, I could accomplish ________.” How many times have you caught yourself wishing there were just a couple of more hours in the day? Truth is: If we had a couple of more hours in the day we would fill them up too. April and I are in a stage of life in which we realize just how fast time goes by. CJ will be graduating from High School in less than a month. We are very proud of him. There are so many days that I wish I could have back at this moment. Fact is I will never get them back. I can live with the reminders of good times and the regrets of opportunities missed.
While I can not reverse the clock to recover the past, I can set priorities today that will place me in a position to live without regret. As I am living with the end in mind, here are the priorities that I have come up with:
- I want to love God with every aspect of my being. There are primarily three ways that we show our love for God. First, we will not only confess Jesus as Lord, but we allow Him to be Lord. It is one thing to give lip-service to God, it is another thing to fully surrender to Him. Second, it is a commitment to worship. Worship is expressed in our weekly gatherings with other believers. Worship is expressed in our personal time in God’s Word. Finally, worship is expressed through a life of prayer. I have come to realize that prayer does not have to be as difficult as we have made it. Prayer is simply talking with God. Confessing our sins and struggles! Seeking His guidance! I heard one preacher say: “What Facebook and Twitter have shown me is that if I have enough time to jump on social media, I have enough time to read God’s Word and spend time in prayer.”
- I want to love others the way God loves me. When my time on this earth is done, should the Lord allow me to have a funeral, I want people remembering me for one thing: “Man, that guy loved me.” I want April to know that I loved her with every fiber of my being. I want my kids to know how loved they were. I want my church family to know how much I loved serving with them, and more importantly loved them. I want people I have come in contact with to have felt loved by me. It is true that there are people who are hard to love. It is equally true that God loved me at my worst point (Romans 5:8), and because of that grace for me, I must show love and grace for others.
- I want to grow until I die. I have heard that catfish grow until they die. I am not so sure that is true. However, I want to grow in my faith until the day that I die. Having spent 23 years in the church I have witnessed people who have arrived and stopped growing. I have also witnessed great men and women of faith who have placed themselves in a position to grow until the day they died. The Apostle Paul wrote these words: “I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:10-12, NIV)
What priorities is God calling you to make?
- To spend more time in His Word?
- To commit to corporate worship?
- To commit to serving with the gifts God has graciously given you?
- To place yourself in a position to grow?
- To not only confess Jesus as Lord, but live like it?
Charles Hummel wrote these words in his small booklet, Tyranny of the Urgent: “Nothing substitutes for knowing that on this day, at this hour, in this place, we are doing the will of our Father in heaven.” There is no doubt in my mind that God has called us to love Him, love others, and continue to grow in our faith.