2005-05-24 - An Ounce of Gold
Psalm 89:47, "Remember what my span of life is; for what vanity Thou hast created all the sons of men!"
I got some Chinese takeout the other day, and they were nice enough to include a fortune cookie. I think the fortune was interesting. It said, "An ounce of glod cannot buy an ounce of time." That really is true. I'm not sure it is a fortune, but it is a wise statement. Time is precious, and let us never forget that. We can buy many things in this life, but we can't buy time. Let us be wise in this. Time is precious, and not one of us has enough money to buy a second more when God calls us home.
The Puritans used to talk a lot about how precious time is to us. It was a common theme with them. I think they hit it right on this point. They knew a lot (No TV back then, all you could do was read--or make kids), but they knew Ephesians 5:15, 16 very well. "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil." We need to make the most of our time. It is something that we can often learn the hard way, but the easy way is to just follow what Scripture tells us. Following Scripture is cheap experience. We don't have to pay the price of messing up, knowing how foolish we were, when we follow Scripture. We also avoid regret, and regret is a huge punishment we get when we don't use our time wisely, and don't follow how God would have us live. There are so many ways we can mess up, but use of time is one of those things that can haunt us more and more, as we grow in age. Christ forgives, but we all still end up with our past. To be brutal, we all end up with how stupid we have been in the past.
Many of you know that I used to do security for a very prominent family. I lived at their estate for 12 years. I got to meet a lot of famous people, and a few very rich people. One thing I learned living there, and getting to know the family, is how true it is that they would give everything, just for even another day of life. It seems like, and this is just an observation, the more they had, the more they clinged to this life. It sure seemed like it is not like what Paul said in Phillipians 1:21, "To die is gain." These "important" people seemed to know that this life is all they had, and in the end, having done the security work for years, it was sad. It was pathetic.
It is one of those things we all have to come to terms with. We will die, and nothing we accumulate in this life will buy us another day. The day will come. It does not matter if you live in a row house in Philly, or in a huge mansion in Philly. It does not matter if you are worth negative amounts of cash, or if you are worth several billion. We all have the same end, and no amount of money or position will buy you one day the Lord has not granted. It is true, "An ounce of gold cannot buy an ounce of time."
If you have wasted time, and who has not, use the time left to glorify, and grow in the grace of, the Lord. We need to both grow, and to share what we have learned. One of the things the old writers used to talk about is the redemption of time. Redeeming time can make up for so much of lost time. I even have a book, published hundreds of years ago called, "The Redemption of Time," and it is a great title. We need to redeem time, and we can start at any time to redeem time. None of us know how much time we have left; let us start to stop trying to think about buying time, and focus on redeeming time.
Soli Deo Gloria,