The Final Straw

It’s the excuse that flies out of my mouth to justify my reasons on almost everything.  It’s the same excuse I hear from others around me.  It is the final straw, the deciding factor, the ultimate justifier.  “I just don’t have the time.”  It’s why we don’t exercise, eat well, plan for the future or live in the present.  It’s the reason we get rid of our pets and sell our toys.  It is the culprit behind the broken marriage, the unfinished project, the long-lost hobby, and the stressed-out student.  We just don’t have the time.  Sadly, it is the reason for our flailing faith, and our absence from our Father’s House.

In Micah 6:3 God, in an attempt to show Israel how far she has strayed from Him, asks a weighted question:  “How have I wearied you? What have I done to you?

I still hear this same question from the Spirit of God in the lives of my generation.  “What have I done to weary you?  Where are you going?”  I have found very few people who have accusations against God that they can articulate and point to in their lives, but more often than not, I find that the answers to ones drifting away from God are buried in an ambiguous ocean that carries them away slowly, quietly saying, “I just don’t have the time.”

You don’t know how far you can drift until you learn to make “time” your excuse.  The truth is that we you and I will always make the time for the things that are important to us.  Always.  So maybe our problem isn’t “time”;  it is just our excuse.  Our problem is more likely that our value system is constantly being skewed towards convenience, and the things that have become the most valuable to us are the things that come easy.

God still stands on the shore of our hearts asking us to evaluate our excuses, and prove our reasoning for rejecting our only source of oxygen.  While we live in this age of grace we can hear his voice and choose for Him or against Him.  There will be, however the day that our choices run out and we will stand before Him without excuses or options.  There will be no time, only eternity.

Isaiah 55:1-7

55 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
    a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.”

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon

alders

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Time and Eternity

It was several years ago that I watched an old science video put out by Moody Institute of Science in Chicago, called “Time and Eternity”.  It was the first time I had ever been introduced to the sciences that are involved in the study of time and the construct of the period of life we are experiencing now that is temporary, yet designed in eternity.  If you have some spare time and want your brain to explode, take about 25 minutes, and watch the video mentioned.  I can’t say that I understand it all, nor that I have even scratched the surface of the beginnings of understanding, but there were several things that stood out to me in this video, and one in particular that I wanted to share.  At about minute 4:40-5:25 there is an illustration that caught my attention and made me think.  It is the illustration of the arrow being shot through the egg in slow motion.

eggHave you ever witnessed a tragedy, or accident?  Do you remember thinking that everything was happening is slow motion?  Have you ever received devastating or life-altering news and it feels as though time has stood still, or that your world has come to a stop, while the rest of the world continues on?  I’ve experienced it and I’ve heard people say those word.  Pain can cause the mind to process the information frame by frame like the slow motion camera.

Years after a tragedy, it is not unusual to find that the loved ones left behind are still feeling the effects of the event.  Like the arrow through the egg, we only see a split second of trouble.  The arrow passes through, there is a huge mess, and the arrow continues on.  While I see the momentary event, the victim, or survivor of a tragic situation, lives the rest of their life in the slow-motion of the camera.  The shell of the egg is still moving away from it’s center, and yolk is still falling from the sky, and landing on everything.  It’s as though it has never resolved or finished.  The arrow has moved on, but the effect continues.  Put yourself in that scenario for a moment, and consider the illustration.

God who sees the end from the beginning has allowed many things to pass through our space of life called time.  What are only blips on the screen of eternity, become stories that unfold over lifetimes and generations.  I think of the one act of Adam and Eve, who probably said to themselves, “It doesn’t matter if we eat the fruit, heck we are the only ones here.  We aren’t hurting anyone else!”  That one decision was one blip on the screen of eternity, and for the rest of us, the ensuing consequence of sin is a lifetime of “falling yolks from the sky”.

I think of Jesus and his death on the cross over 2000 years ago.  His story could be seen as just a few pages in the history books among others crucified, and the affect of his arrow piercing our space of time has turned the world upside down.  That grace and mercy is still raining down today.

My point in bogging your brain with stories of eggs, is to draw your attention to a God who sees the end from the beginning.  Your neighbor may have not seen the arrow that pierced your heart as a child, but God did.  While you live in the effect, feeling as though there is no end in sight, you need to know that your pain has an expiration date, and that God who knows you and loves you will see you through the struggle while cleaning up the messes it leaves behind.  No matter how quickly time passes, or how slowly your pain prevails, God, who lives in Eternity, will through the context of time is calling you to Himself.  He wants you to know that He sees you, He knows you, and He loves you.