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



Did you hear the story about the snail who was beaten up by two turtles? His friends were looking for revenge, so they asked him: "Did you get a good look at the turtles who did this to you?" The snail answered, 'No. It all happened so fast." Life is happening fast, isn't it? The clock is ticking, time is flying, and every moment we live it gets later than it's ever been before. An unknown sage succinctly summed up the swiftness of life by stating, "The 7 Ages of Man are spills, drills, thrills, bills, ills, pills, and wills." Another unknown writer reminds us that life happens fast with the following words: "Man's life means tender teens, teachable twenties, tireless thirties, fiery forties, forceful fiffies, serious sixties, sacred seventies, aching eighties, shortening breath, death, the sod - GOD! " The Bible teaches life is happening fast. About 3,500 years ago Moses wrote in Psalm 90: 10, "The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cutoff, and we flyaway." James 4:14 reminds us life has away of quietly but quickly slipping away: , For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." John 9:4 makes it clear that Jesus recognized not only the brevity of our lives here on earth but also our highest purpose for being here: "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work." All of us are living fast. The question is, what are we living for?

Life is happening fast. Kids are growing up. Adults are growing older. And, as we often hear, "It all seems like yesterday. . ." This year "time will fly" just as swiftly as it did last year. Someone noted 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." The year 2004 will contain 525,600 minutes. Julia Fletcher Carney reminds that each one of them holds great potential: "Little drops of water, Little grains of sand, Make the mighty ocean And the pleasant land. So the little minutes, Humble though they be, Make the mighty ages of Eternity." Life is happening fast. A gospel song challenges: "Swiftly we're turning life's daily pages, Swiftly the hours are changing to year; How are we using God's golden moments, Shall we reap glory, Shall we reap tears?" (v verse of "Into Our Hands) Life is happening fast. Time is rushing us toward eternity. Will you reap glory or will you reap tears? Here's hoping 2004 finds you closer to God.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ