I remember it like it was yesterday; sitting in the Band room of Hoggard High School on the last day of school in 1980, talking to Mike B. Mike was a clarinet player and a senior; I was a lowly sophomore. He had completed all the requirements to graduate High School and he was simply passing time, waiting for the bell to ring, signifying the last day of school was finally over. On the Band Room wall hung a clock. It was one of those classic, large, gold rimmed school clocks that had the second hand which made a distinctive “tick” each time it moved from number to number. Although in the grand scheme of things the second hand was less important than the hour or minute hand, it seemed to make up for its lack of importance with its persistent, metronome like trek around the face of the clock. As we sat there I directed Mike’s attention to the second hand and sarcastically said, “Mike… You see those seconds ticking by? Just think about it, those are seconds that you can never get back! Your High School years are over, you will never get them back…and those seconds will just keep on ticking by! Just listen to them…tick…tick…tick…tick…” As you can imagine, Mike was not amused with my sophomoric shenanigans, and responded with, “Can you possibly be more depressing?!?”
Thinking back on that moment over 35 years ago, what was meant to be silly teasing on my part, turned out to be a very true testimonial which plays out in everyone’s life! Since that day in 198o, if it had functioned properly, that second hand on that clock in the Band Room would have ticked between 1,103,760,000 and 1,106,764,000 times! When I think about that fact, I am nothing short of amazed that so much time has gone by in what seems to be the blink of an eye. Over a billion seconds in the blink of an eye?!? As the saying goes, “That’s life!”
Yes, life flies by so quickly. This is what the biblical writer, James was relaying when he said, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes”, (James 4:14, ESV). In the grand scheme of things, our lives are like a mist that appears vibrant for a period, but then, seemingly before we realize it, is over, never to be recaptured. Just like those billions of seconds that seemed like they would last forever…tick…tick…tick…tick…gone. Far too often we live as if our earthly lives will never end. James tells us that our lives are very short and that Jesus should be the center of our lives. Let’s not waste even one of those seconds. Live the precious seconds, those grace seconds, centered in Christ, for His glory and our good. May that little “dash” between our birth year and death year on our Tombstone represent a life that wasn’t wasted. May it represent a life that was surrendered to Jesus.
A short, “mist” of a life surrendered to Christ translates into an eternity in His presence.