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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



A man asked God, "What does a second mean to you?" God answered, "Like a million years to you." The man replied, "What does a million dollars mean to you?" God answered, "Like a penny to you." Then the man asked God, "Can I have one of those pennies?" God answered, "In a second." What is your take on time? People talk about using time and spending time and wasting time and killing time. We ask "What time is it?" and "Where did the time go?" and "How much time will it take?" and "Where will I  find the time?"  Sometimes we hear that time flies and that time marches and that time waits for no man dud  flies -and that time   waits  Man (or woman). One of our most familiar phrases concerning time reminds us that "time is of the essence." God seems to strongly agree with that take on time. His constant challenge is for us to "redeem the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16). Someone described the precious nature of time by observing that each minute is an irretrievable gift-an unredeemable slice of eternity. Another stated it this way: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is a gift - that's why it's called the present."

The year 2002 stretches out before us. We have every reason to believe that throughout this year "time will fly" just as swiftly as this past year. For some it will seem to go by faster than for others. An unknown author stated what we all learn as we age: " When  as a child I laughed and wept, time crept; When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked; When  I became a full  grown man, time ran; And later as older I grew, time flew;  Soon I shall find  while traveling on, time gone. " This is the most critical issue concerning time-our days are literally numbered. One day time will be gone. In the immortal words or Ecclesiastes 3:2 there is *a time to be born, and a time to die." Death, or course, is not the end, for the Bible says further that "man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27 New International Version). This unchangeable truth is what makes our use of time so critical. "Swiftly we're turning life's daily pages, Swiftly the hours are changing to years; How are we using God's golden moments, Shall we reap glory, Shall we reap tears?" (1st  verse of "Into Our Hands"). The year 2002 will be filled with 525,600 minutes. Each will hold potential for prayer, kindness, love, and service toward God and other people. Where will you spend eternity? Will you reap glory or will you reap tears? The answer depends upon how you use your golden moments from God this year.

Dan Gulley
Smithivlle church of Christ