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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Apple Family Reunion”

I puzzled for a long time over something to write about on this episode. Most of the messages I could see coming from it have either already been covered or are covered better in future episodes. After thinking on it a while, however, there was one part that stood out to me early in the episode.

Granny Smith mentions that this year’s reunion will likely be the last chance so many members of her family have to get together again. While a show that is rated Y isn’t about to mention the word “death”, one can see where she’s going with it. Especially in seeing how much older she and her closest relatives are. The implication is clear: this is one of their last chances to see each other before the oldest generation begins to “die off”, and therefore this reunion is a very important time. Applejack, of course, took it too far, but the core idea is still the same: use the time to make memories, because there’s not much time for that left.

Time, especially how much time we are given, is a serious matter. I still remember when I was younger how slow time seemed to move and how unhappy I was that it took so long to get anywhere. Every day seemed to last forever and it seemed I would be that age for my entire life. Nowadays, while some things still seem to take forever (such as tedious work days and traffic stops), I’m like most people and noticing that time flies by faster and faster the older I get. When I was younger it seemed to take months to get to Christmas. Now I have to take time out to celebrate it or it will pass me right by. Birthdays were rare occasions. Now they’re piling on. My generation is having children left and right while my grandparents’ generation is gone with my parent’s generation starting to follow behind with those members who had the worst health problems. Worst of all, I realize, as many of us do who come out of our 20s intact and get into our 30s, that I’m not just getting older but slowly getting old. That there are things I used to have the opportunity to pursue that are gone forever, while other things that used to not be that important to me I’m now indulging in more.

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. None of us are even guaranteed today. To this day, I remember a car collision I was in that was over 50 mph. Thinking of how sudden it happened, remembering how sore I was even with my seat belt and air bag secure, makes me realize just how in that same instant I could have said goodbye to this world before I even knew it was my last instant. Many people who are car accident victims, shooting victims, accident victims, or the like get even less time than that. Yet even if I escape sudden death situations and end up dying many years from now of heart disease, cancer, or the like, the average life expectancy in the USA is 78. Compared to the lifespan of trees, the history of our nations, the age of the world itself, and the vastness of space and time in the universe…that’s nothing. In the Book of Chronicles, one can literally read over the span of 78 years in a chapter or two. 78 years…the whole of one of our lives…summed up in a few sentences in the vast history of the Old Testament. Not a lot of time.

And, of course, with that comes regrets. I see people younger than me who pursued their passions, started businesses, became pros at sports or music, invented games or software, and I realize I used to have those same passions but they were deferred through most of my life. I always thought the day would be in the future in which I would aspire to this or that, or try this or that, or make an effort to pursue that ambition or goal. Now, here I sit many years later, more or less where I am when I started. To those of you who don’t share this regret, I commend you highly. But I take it some of you at least feel the same way.

God has put each of us on this world for a reason, and given us an amount of time that no one is aware of in which to accomplish our purpose. There is much that can be done in this world for good or evil in that time frame, but only if we seize on it. As Jesus cautioned in John 9:4, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.” Whether that be the End of Ages or simply the end of our “own” age, the implication is the same: time is running out.

My challenge today, both for myself and for everyone else, is simple: look at yourself and your life and think of that one desire or passion you always had, that one good work you wanted to do, that one person you wanted to talk to, or that one risk you wanted to take; but always an excuse got in the way…then take it or take a step to go after it, without delaying any longer. Don’t let fear, uncertainty, distractions, or your own age stop you any longer. By the Grace of God, go after it, for none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

I close with a quote by Robert H. Smith:

“The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.

To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one’s health is more,
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.

The present only is our own,
So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in ‘Tomorrow,’
For the Clock may then be still.”

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, whether it be little or much, I thank you for every second you have given me on this world. Help me to make the most of it and make a difference for your Glory while I have time. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”