I wonder if our natural tendency is to over estimate the time that we have remaining in life. I am sure some of us do not want to think about it. Yet, it is important to think about because it can motivate to take advantage of each day. This is especially important for the follower of Jesus. But it is all to easy to get stuck looking at a tree rather than seeing the forest of our lives. I was sharing with someone yesterday something when buying dairy items like Half & Half. I always looks for the expiration date that gives me the most time to use the product.
The Lord has used my reflection on QTR to steer my life in many different ways. He used a simple passing statement in my life to step out in faith. This next verse is one of the passages that the Lord used to lead the church plant in Port Orchard 20 years ago. “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption…” (Acts 13:36) The verse itself is speaking of David’s resurrection. But what caught my attention was the first port of the verse, “he had served the purpose of God in his own generation.” It struck me that David used his life to serve God. The simple reality is you and I only have so much time. The question is will we squander it on ourselves or invest our lives for the Creator?
Caryl and I have been committed to serving our Savior. It began in our lives as singles and carried over into our married lives. We even copied Caryl’s parents, who at the time of their wedding were preparing to go to India. Our banner “Committed to Serve The Lord” reflected the same desire in our lives. Years later the Lord would use the phrase in Acts 13:36 to challenge us to step out in faith again for our Savior. We realized that the best way to expose our children to genuine Christianity was to live by faith. I am thankful that the Lord has been faithful. There have been many seasons when I could not see the way forward but our Creator could! I wonder how many of us miss the opportunity of experiencing God’s working because we become stuck in fear? I have found that pondering the brevity of life has encouraged me to take those faith steps.
A second area of my life impacted by considering the Quality Time Remain had to do with being a father. I wish I could take credit for these transformational moments but I cannot. I’m, thankful that the Lord superintended in my life. There was a time in ministry that I worked seven days a week. Yes, I had “days off” but I always found ways to rationalize doing the Lord’s work. I think that over this period of seven years I managed to take a couple of days off a month. I am thankful that the Lord impressed on my heart that being a Dad to my kids was God’s work in my life. It was through a Godly pastoral staff member of the mother church for the church plant that I learned to make my family a priority. Now, it was not like I was a terrible father. Let’s just say there was a lot of room for improvement. Now that I am a grandfather I am thankful that I considered the brevity of my life and made changes to take advantage of the time left!
Let me encourage you to do the same. Our time on earth, and our opportunity for serving Jesus as a spouse, parent and in ministry is limited. Let strive to have what was said about David be said about us, “they served GOD’s purpose in their own generation!”
-Pastor Joe Parkinson