[notice]A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan[/notice]
If we look at Moses’s prayer in Psalm 90 we can clearly see that he is talking about a very fragile time that each one of us have on earth. He says in Psalm 90:10 (NKJV), The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labour and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
This year I shall be turning 70 years old and for the first time in my life I am starting to appreciate time. Time is but a vapour; here today and gone tomorrow. In verse 6 of that psalm, we are told that it flourishes and grows up, in the evening it is cut down and withers … you and I do not have time to waste. We need to redeem the time. We cannot afford to have unsettled scores, unforgiveness, hatred, or confusion. We need to deal with these issues as quickly as possible.
In God’s eyes a thousand years is like a day and a night. Moses says to the Lord, Please teach us to number our days so we can gain a heart of wisdom. You and I cannot afford to go down anymore one-way streets or cul-de-sacs. to have to turn around at the bottom and drive all the way back up again, to get on to the road which leads to eternal life. Time is fast passing us by. We need to use every single opportunity we have to tell people about Jesus Christ, about His Lordship, and about eternal life. Truly that scripture, found in the Gospel of Mark 8:36 (NKJV), becomes a reality when we think of the time factor. It says For what will a man profit if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Priorities in order
We need to get our priorities in order. There are some men who are so, if I may say, hell-bent on making their mark on this world that they have forgotten about the brevity of life.
I remember hearing a message by an old Scottish preacher, many years ago, who told a story of an atheist who was only content in making money. He was a miller and had a big mill positioned next to a stream with a big wooden wheel in it. The wheel would be turned by the water flowing through the wheel, then rotate the big grindstones which ground the corn into flour. He spent all his life grinding out the corn so that he could make money. No one knew what he would do with that money — he would save it until one day he became very sick. He asked that his bed be placed next to the grindstone so that he could hear the corn being ground and the money being turned out. A sympathetic, godly man came to his bed one day and said to him: “Do you realise that you are dying and you need to make your peace with Jesus Christ otherwise you are going to a lost eternity?” The old miller shouted out, “I cannot hear you, because the grindstones are making so much noise.”
Settle all your outstanding accounts today. Leave nothing for tomorrow. Tell your family that you love them. Your children are not so concerned about how much money you will leave them in your will when you die, they would rather have time with you while you are still alive. Visit your grandchildren, write that letter to your loved one, keep the relationship open, display the spirit of love, don’t leave anything undone. Don’t be like the foolish farmer that when he saw he had a bountiful crop of grain said that he would build larger barns to accommodate his crop and then he would sit down and eat and drink and be merry. The Lord said, Foolish man do you not realise that this very night your soul will be required of you?
Don’t waste time
Let us not waste time. Moses, in his prayer to the Lord, in Psalm 90:17 says twice, And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands. I think it is time for us to take note of how worthwhile our efforts really are towards our fellow man. We need to ask God to help us to make every part of the work we do worthwhile. Work that is worthwhile not only for ourselves but for our fellow man and for the future, to leave this world a better place than we found it.
I really want to say that I am living my dream in this time of my life. I am doing the things I have always wanted to do, to help people, to tell them about Jesus, to pray for them, to see them born again, to see them healed physically and spiritually, to encourage young people — especially children — to keep their eyes on Jesus. This life has no value to me outside of the people that live here. I love my little house, my wife, children, grandchildren, adopted children and spiritual children. I love God’s creation, getting up early in the morning and spending time in the word, praying and worshipping God. Then I can assure you that I am ready at any time when the Lord blows the trumpet and calls me home. My ambition is to leave nothing behind when my work is completed. May God bless you as you reconsider the valuable time God has given to you.