A Wisdom Retreat - October 1

Redeeming the Years

James 4:14
You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we liked growing older was when we were kids?

When you were less than 10 years old, you were so excited about aging that you used fractions. If someone asked you how old you were, you responded, "I'm five . . . and one-half!"

Then you hit double-digits and began dreaming of the next major milestone: 13. Oh, to be a teenager . . . life will finally be all that I dreamed it would be. Or so we thought.

When 13 finally got there, you immediately began skipping years. If someone asked how old you were, you said, "I'm almost 16." You might have two years to go, but that's completely ignored. You were almost 16.

Then 21 came and you'd really arrived—right? Even the words sounded like a ceremony: you became 21! But that didn't last very long, did it? Soon you turned 30 and wondered where the time went!

Next thing you know, you're pushing 40, and not long after, you reach 50.

Strange how we word this progression of time, isn't it? You become 21, turn 30, you're pushing 40, reach 50, and you make it to 60! By then you've built up so much momentum that you hit 70!

After that you're simply "in your 80s." But if you make it past that, you start going backward! You say, "I was just 92," or, "I was 95 last year."

Then a really strange phenomenon occurs: if you're one of the select few who make it to the century mark, you start thinking like a kid again. Someone asks how old you are and you say, "I'm one hundred and one-half . . . I'm almost 102!"

It doesn't matter where you find yourself on this timeline, time flies for all of us. Tomorrows seem like they will never come, and yesterdays seem like they never happened. The psalmist writes in 103:15: As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer.

It really doesn't matter what age you are. Whether you're 24 or 84, the question is: what are you doing with the time you have left? How are you spending your life now?

If we were cats, we might get nine chances at life (so the saying goes) but as it stands, we only get one. Just one chance at however life unfolds in God's sovereign plan to be: a loving spouse; a godly parent; a faithful friend; a good servant of Jesus Christ.

So let's take the words of Ephesians 5:16 to heart and "make the most of our time."

Be careful not to measure your life by birthdays or special occasions alone; evaluate it by what God is accomplishing in and through the energy and efforts of your life.

When I was a boy, my parents had a plaque hanging over their dining room door that read,

Only one life, 'twill soon be past;
Only what's done for Christ will last.

That's a good reminder. Life is about much more than aging—it's about living . . . living every moment for the glory of God.

Prayer Point: Ask the Lord to help you make some changes or develop some disciplines to enable you to capture the most of your time—right now—for His glory. Ask God to prepare you with His will in mind, trusting Him that when it does not match your plans, His ways are always perfect.

Extra Refreshment: Read all of Psalms 103 for a bit more perspective.

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Christianity / Devotionals / A Wisdom Retreat with Stephen Davey / A Wisdom Retreat - October 1