Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Don't Waste Your Life: 26 Hours to Live

Recently Aneta and I have been so busy with preparation for the birth of Simone that I haven’t had time to write. Also we are expecting the arrival of Aneta’s mom from Poland who will be here on November 26 to stay in our home through the beginning of January. I’ve been trying to get our library/prayer room ready for her to sleep in. Needless to say, it has been a lot of work altogether.

Yet we are in a good place and the Lord continues to give us clarity regarding what He has in store for the future. Recently both Aneta (October 31) and I (November 17) have celebrated our birthdays—I know, I know, I married an older woman! For me, birthdays represent a time to focus on the Lord in order to discern what He is saying for the next year so that we may consecrate our hearts afresh to Him.

Every year when my birthday rolls around, it is a time to seek His face. It is a time of reflection—and I’m always sensitive as to what is the Lord saying to me from the Scriptures for that season in my life. Usually the Lord gives me a verse or a passage to meditate upon for the upcoming year. Birthdays, to me, tend to have even a stronger emphasis than the start of a new year. Once I hear from the Lord, I consecrate myself to Him wholly to obey Him in all that He desires in my life.

I do want to share a story of how the Lord spoke to my heart one year as I was anticipating His voice. This was seven years ago in 2000 during my first year as a student at Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. As I awoke that morning, I knew that the Lord desired to speak to my heart that day—I felt that it would be quite significant. As I ventured through the day I came to a class with my favorite instructor—Dr. Larry Hill. I don’t remember now the entirety of the teaching that morning, but I do remember one poignant statement that he made that reverberated in my spirit. As he was passionately teaching about how we are going to live our lives in the light of our destiny in Christ, he asked the following question, “What if you have…[a short pause]…26 hours to live?” Dr. Hill went on to explain the necessity of living our lives each day from the vantage point of eternity.

On that day I had turned 26. My ears perked up when he used the same number as my age to describe how many hours left one would live. My first thought was who in the world uses the number 26 to describe how many hours you have remaining to live. Normally in such a scenario you would propose a more standard usage of time such as 24—is there not a reason that a popular show is called 24 and not 26! In spite of the unusualness of the time selected to describe this scenario, I knew it was the Lord speaking to my own heart. Each year since then I have reflected on this as a reminder of the urgency of setting my heart apart unto the Lord so that I may live my life for His glory.

Life is short. Let us heed the wisdom penned by the Psalmist—Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

Take time today to meditate on that verse. What can you do today to consecrate your heart afresh to Him in this hour? Don't be the couple that John Piper writes about in Don't Waste Your Life. Their sole objective was simply to retire early, move to Florida to live a life of comfort and ease—traveling, playing softball and collecting shells. Don’t waste your life seeking the comforts of life. My heart aches simply writing about this tragic pursuit of the American dream. Heed the words of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:15-16—Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

So, if you have 26 hours to live from this moment, what would you do in order to not waste your life?

1 comment:

Christin said...

Brian, I cannot tell you how much this resonated within my spirit. It IS all too easy to just live life so unintentionally. Just getting swept over BY life instead of steering the course ourselves.

I can't wait to talk about it with Jet when he gets home. :D