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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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WHAT TIME IS IT RIGHT NOW

Baseball greats Yogi Berra and pitcher Roger Clemens were playing in a celebrity golf tournament. As they approached the first few holes, Clemens turned to Yogi & asked, "what time is it?" Yogi looked at his watch and said, "Do you mean right now?" (Reader's Digest, February 2002, p 59). Yogi's question should compel us to think about time. Time is flying you know. A farmer was awakened one night at 2 a.m. by church bells that had gone crazy. Instead of ringing twice to denote the hour, they went on and on. After the 50th ring, the farmer nudged his wife and said, "we'd better get up, dear. It's later than it's ever been before!" It is, isn't it? However old or young you are, the Bible announces a startling message many people seek to tune out *For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14b). "A little time " is God's way of encouraging us to see that nothing is more certain about life on earth than the fact that one day it will end. And "vanishes" is the word the Holy Spirit uses in this passage of Scripture to describe the fleeting nature of our time in this life. 

What time is it right now is a good question. The truth for each of us is that it is later than it has ever been, as Romans 13:11 precisely teaches"And  do  this,  knowing  the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed." Each day time is running out. Like grains of sand in an hourglass, time is silently but steadily slipping away, spilling out second after second after relentless second. At the end of this day, we will all be one day closer to eternity, whether we are ushered into it by death or by the return of Jesus. It may seem at any given moment that we have all the time in the world, but one day will indeed be our last day. Now the year 2005 stretches out before us in all of its promise and potential, but every day this year "time will fly." Therefore, our view and use of time is critical. As Emerson said, "One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year." We can't afford to fret or worry or waste away the hours, days, and weeks, forever "putting off' important things we should do today. "Now is the accepted time" the Bible reminds us (2 Corinthians 6:2). Now not next week or next year is the time to obey the gospel, to be happier, to serve others, to read the Bible through, to get more involved in the church, to spend time with family, to say "I'm sorry" or "I forgive you." The New Year is here and there is much to do. God help us remember what time it is right now!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ