Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 35 years old. As my father kindly pointed out, that's half way to 70. Wow. Seriously? 35 years is in some ways a lot of time. There's different ways to measure that. I like baseball. If you figure the average major league baseball game to be 3 hours, you could watch 102,270 baseball games in 35 years. If my average sermon is about 45 minutes, 409,080 of them would fit into 35 years. Interestingly enough, the reality is I've probably preached in the neighborhood of 500-600 sermons (very rough estimate). These hypotheticals beg a very real question, however. What have I done with the 35 years God has given me on this planet? Moses said, "The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone and we fly away." (Psalm 90:10 ESV) So, give or take a few years, my life is 1/2 over. Have I used it well; what will I do with what's left?
Reflecting back can be both encouraging and discouraging. Encouraging? God saved me and is giving me grace to live a life centered on his Son and the wonderful truth of the gospel. He gave me enough sense not to miss out on the adventure life has been with Erin. And then there's 4 pretty special boys. Which makes me wonder where they will be when they're 35. But that's another post. Also encouraging...10 years in the ministry. God has been good. No doubt.
Discouraging? There's a lot that could be said. I think mostly the wasted time. Couldn't I have done more with those 35 years? Shouldn't I have managed my time better? It feels like I could have accomplished far more if I had used that time more wisely.
So there's something to work on for the next 35 years. After all, as John Piper loves to say, "Don't waste your___________" (fill in the blank - life, cancer; in my case, birthday). It would be sad to get to 70 and look back and see that there was no improvement over the first 35 years of life. What will the next 35 years hold? Will I have 35 more? Only God knows. But this I know. I have right now. So do you. What will we do with it? I pray God will help me to serve him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength...and my time.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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