“For what is your life? It is a vapor that appears for a little time.” James 4:14 NAS
“There is never as much time as you thought there would be.”
My thoughts today are about “first things first.”
I just came from a memorial service for a man who died far too young. Like most of us, I am sure that there were things left unfinished. Funerals tend to remind all of us that there is never as much time as you thought there would be. That is not said to dishearten you; that simple truth should make you purpose to live wisely, taking care of priority matters that should be taken care of first. When my years are spent, I know there will be things unfinished, but I hope matters of eternal import to my life and our family will not have been neglected.
While Bruce and Lori were still teens at home, Gayle was preparing for my birthday party in our backyard when something left unattended on the stove caused a serious. Walking into the kitchen only to find a large grease fire already burning the nearby cabinets, I called with some urgency with what I thought was a voice of desperate immediacy, “Come quickly; help me. There is a fire in the kitchen.”
I heard Bruce’s calm voice from upstairs, “In a minute,” and then calmly explain, “I’m on the phone.” Distracted by what occupied his attention at that moment, he had not heard the reason I was calling for his help. Therefore he felt no sense of urgency and his response was inadequate. He mistakenly assumed that what he was doing was more important than whatever else was going on. That was a mistake, and usually is, and could have been a disastrous one. Believe me, I was much clearer when I called the second time!
There are times that it is not wise to wait till later. Time is more fleeting than you may realize right now. Many things that you may feel urgent now, are not. Some things that you think you will always have time to care for later, you cannot. Among the many things my Father sought to teach me about life, I remember my need for his recurring reminder. I can almost hear his kind but clear voice as I write his words, “Always, keep first things first.” That is such sound advice for everyday life, and the practical and spiritual benefits are amazing. Read Matthew 6:31 NIV.
Jesus told about a man who was very rich and prosperous but was foolish, occupying himself with momentary things while ignoring attention to much more important and eternal matters. See Luke 12:16-23 NKJV. Now is the best time to take care of the things that you should, the things that need to be done, and then the things that you would like to do. Savor the moment, but use it wisely. Do what is right, right now – never a better time than now to do what should be done.
My prayer for you today is: keep the things of eternal importance first and foremost.