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


What Will Time Tell?

Someone noted that our days are like identical suitcases - all the same size - but some people can pack more into them than others. Timely words from the apostle Paul remind us that people pack different things into the hours, days, and weeks of their lives: "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:1517, New American Standard Bible). We either use know and do the Lord's will or we use it in unwise and foolish ways which leave -as unprepared to meet God. The year 2002 is finished - but, if you are reading these words, you aren't. At least not yet. The coming of a new year should encourage us to take inventory of our lives. Each passing day brings us closer to that moment in time when we shall finish life on earth & be transferred into eternity. Will we be ready for that moment? To use an oft' quoted cliche, time will tell.
But what will time tell? About us, that is? In a church bulletin article (7/01), Rodger Lane, Sr. of Hannibal, Missouri, referred to a study that revealed that an average 70-year-old man has spent 24 years sleeping, 14 years working, 8 years in amusements, 6 years at a dinner table, 5 years in transportation, 4 years in conversation, 3 years in education, and 2 years in studying and reading. The other 4 years were spent in miscellaneous pursuits. Of those 4 years he spent 45 minutes in church on Sundays and 5 minutes devoted to prayer each day. Bro. Lane comments, "This adds up to a very unimpressive total of 5 months that he gave to God over the 70 years of his life." What will time tell about such a man (or woman)? One thing seems clear - his suitcase is not properly packed for the long j ourney into eternity.

Many intend to improve spiritually this year. Resolutions include commitments to read the Bible and pray more frequently, to attend church more faithfully, to serve others more devotedly. Will we carry through? Time will tell. Jane Wagner wrote, "I worry that our lives are like soap operas. We can go for months and not tune in to them, then six months later we look in and the same old stuff is still going on." You will spend your days this year, but how will you spend them? Will your use of time this year take you further along the path toward God, or further away from Him? Annie Dillard reminds us, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." Time will tell about our lives when our time on earth is over, but what it will tell is a choice we are making each day. What will time tell about you?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ