Redeeming the Time

Tonight I preached in Ephesians 5 and the text dealt with "redeeming the time for the days are evil."  It was, at its core, a call to make the most of life in light of the swift-moving pace of time.
Job said, "My days are passing faster than a weaver's shuttle."

James said, "Life is like a vapor."

I say, "Wow!  When did my little girl get that big?!?!"

In preparation for tonight's message on the fleeting nature of life I was reminded that I've been at Emmanuel Baptist 14 1/2 years.  In a few weeks, Lord willing, I'll have my 9th anniversary as senior pastor.  And if the Lord tarries and lets me live, I should become EBC's longest-serving pastor in church history within the next several months.  The only reason that's important in this context is that it seems like we moved to Blackshear...well...yesterday.

So I've spent several days contemplating my ministry and recommitting myself to doing whatever would please God and bring Him maximum pleasure and glory.

After preaching on this subject I spent all of a late Wednesday evening supper time staring at my 8 year old and wondering where the time went.  She's becoming a beautiful little lady.  Even though she's finishing up the 2nd grade in a few weeks it seems like she was born...well...yesterday.

After supper I went upstairs and found some old pictures.  That's when I found the emotional final straw. 

There were some old high school photos. (1980's)

There were some little league ball photos. (1970's)

Then there was this picture.  It's a photo of my paternal grandparents (Hollis and Juanita Stone) celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  This picture was made years ago (1/9/90) and they are both deceased now.  But it still seems like...well...yesterday.

Then it hit me.  If 20 years ago (for example) seems like yesterday, then 20 years from now may seem as if it is here as soon as tomorrow.  And the remainder of my life may seem like just a few more days.  And then my yet-to-be-born grandchildren may be looking at a picture of me thinking, "He sure does look old!"

Let me be clear.  My thoughts haven't been of the morbid "mid-life crisis" variety at all.  It's been invigorating, challenging, and motivating.  I am ready to take the world by the tail and make this day count.  And tomorrow.  And the next day.

Since I only have a limited number of days, I want them all to matter in the light of eternity.  So I'm getting up in the morning ready to be a disciple, a husband, a father, and a pastor.  I want this day to be a day that I help declare the glory of my God to the ends of the earth.

After all...the days are fleeting.  I need to redeem the time.