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

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THE MOMENTOUS MINUTE

An anonymous source noted that most time is wasted not in hours but in minutes. A bucket with a small hole in the bottom gets just as empty as a bucket that is deliberately kicked over. Since 1939, Ruth Johnson Carruth's song, Into Our Hands, has challenged people to consider how momentous the minutes of our lives really are. The first verse of that magnificent song says, "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?" The Bible's directive for us to "make the most of our time" (Ephesians 5:16, New American Standard Bible) includes the use of our minutes. It is sobering to realize each moment we live brings us one moment closer to that one moment when our time on this earth will be all over.

How momentous is a minute? An old graduate, during a visit to his alma mater, was called upon unexpectedly to speak at a chapel service. Being unprepared, he asked the students what they wanted him to speak about. "About a minute," someone yelled. He obliged as follows: "In an old schoolbook I read this`Lost, yesterday, between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with 60 diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.' You and I have twogifts that come with great life energy and time. We cannot waste either without loss to ourselves. We may fool ourselves into thinking that little things do not really matter, but they are really the only things that do. A minute may seem little, but it is large enough for the greatest people to build their lives upon. You can say `thank you' several times in sixty seconds. You can launch cheery words to some discouraged pal in a minute. You can look up from the table and thank your mother or sister or wife for the artistry of her cooking. You can get a new idea in a minute, or learn something worth remembering in the same short time. It takes but a minute to read 10 verses of the Bible. You can change the course of a life in a minute. You can sing a stanza of some cheery song or let a prayer for personal guidance run through your mind. A phone call to inquire about a sick friend takes but a minute. The use of minutes makes or mars our days, and when it is all over it takes but a minute to stop breathing" (author unknown). Julia Fletcher Carney reminds us how momentous the minutes really are: "Little drops of water, Little grains of sand, Make the mighty oceans, And the pleasant land. So the little minutes, Humble though they be, Make the mighty ages Of eternity." The year 2005 will be filled with 525,600 little but momentous minutes, each of them taking us closer to the mighty ages of eternity. How will you use those momentous minutes this year?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ