I can’t seem to escape it sometimes. Occasionally, I will try to put the thought out of my head all together, but the reminders are everywhere. Pictures of my kids from just a couple years ago remind me of how much they have changed and how quickly they are growing. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, changing seasons… they all work together to keep me aware of the ticking of the clock. Even subtle wrinkles, just beginning to form at the corners of my eyes, seem to insist that I remain conscious of the fact that time is passing and there is nothing I can do to stop it.
An awareness of how short life is can almost haunt me at times. I think it used to be a good thing. When I was younger and would hear the “old-timers” talk about how short life is and how quick it goes, I believed them. I took them very seriously. In high-school I kept myself reminded of their warnings . When others would complain about teachers, classes & school assemblies, I did not share their disdain. When they would talk longingly about graduation and “getting out of here,” I knew that it was a time to be enjoyed and would all too soon be gone. I feel like this awareness also helped me to thoroughly enjoy my years in college as well. But now…. now it causes me to be anxious. If I will allow it, it will fill me with dread. Time is moving too quick. Time with my kids, time with my wife, time to accomplish anything of significance… It is running out!
In my struggle with the fact that I have an ever approaching expiration date, I find 2 significant comforts that I need to be reminded of regularly.
1. The idea of time “running out” isn’t something that bothers me alone. It didn’t sit too well with God either. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Our mortality upset Him to the point of taking extreme action. He gave His Son so that we “shall not perish but have eternal life.”
2. The second comfort I find is the result of this “extreme action”- eternal life. In a very real sense, time is not ticking. Those of us who believe in Him will not perish! My time with my wife, with my kids, with many of my family and friends, it is unlimited.
What a relief. I find an overwhelming sense of peace knowing that I’m not the only one concerned with the fact that “the end is coming soon.” Not only was someone else concerned, it was someone who was able and willing to do something about it.
Through God’s love and through Jesus I don’t have to wring my hands as I watch the pages of the calendar steadily fall away. Instead, I confidently look forward to eternal life.
“And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.” 1 John 2:25