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Time Is Killing Us

Kermit the Frog put a new twist on an old saying when he croaked, excuse me, I mean when he said, "Time's fun when you're having flies" (Reader's Digest, 9/04, p 109). Thank you Kermit. Now to put the old twist back on Kermit's words, "Time flies when you're having fun." But time is flying whether life is fun or not. The Bible never lets us forget that, in the words of a Billy Dean song, "We're only here for a little while." The patriarch Job was not having fun when he wrote in Job 14:1, "Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away; He flees like a shadow and does not continue." The Psalmist prayed a prayer we all need to pray in Psalm 39:4-6a: "LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah.  Surely every man walks about like a shadow." Moses is credited by many as the author of Psalm 90. His sobering words continue to challenge a modern world where many people live as though they will be here forever, often taking little or no time for God. Moses said God is eternal, but that the days of man's life on the earth are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up: In the morning it flourishes and grows up; In the evening it is cut down and withers" (verses 2, 5-6). Our first century brother James warned about living as though time is standing still, attempting to make plans and live without reference to God — you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that' " (James 4:14-15).

Hector Berlioz summed up the raw, naked truth about time in these words: "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately, it kills all its pupils." We delude ourselves if we think time is standing still, or that we are killing time. Time is always flying, and taking us along with it. Clint Black still haunts me with the worth of his 1993 song "There's No Time To Kill" — "There's no time to kill between the cradle and the g gave. Father Time still takes a toll on every minute that you save. Legal tender is never gonna change the number of your days. The highest cost of living is dying, that's one everybody pays. So have it speni before you get the bill, there's no time to kill" (first verse). In Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 King Solomon admonishes young persons and old ones, too, that time is killing us all, reminding us in verse 7 that when our ti me on earth is over, the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it."  Again, in Clint Black's words, "the highest cost of livin's dying." If we live long enough, we will die! The year 2012 is upon us. There is no reason to believe it will fly by any less swiftly than all the years that have gone before. Because time is killing us, we should use it in a way that prepares us to meet God. Solomon's summary should guide our use of the days: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Tim(' is hurtling us toward eternity. Here's praying 2012 will take you closer to God.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ