Pictures and Memories
It has been a joy to discover forgotten days as I capture the images from my Dad’s 35MM slides. Technology has made this task infinitely easier. (The tool I am using is an iPhone app called SlideScan. It is amazing!) One thing that strikes me time-after-time is the brevity of life. The clock is ticking, and the calendar now says “2021.” I was born in 1951, so in a few short days I will have reached the age of 70.
This morning I read Psalm 90 and Judges 16. They both remind me that each day is a treasure and the decisions I make today might be my last decisions. In fact, I have to wonder what my last decision might be. Psalm 90 is a reminder that I might not reach 70. If I do, I have no guarantee that I will reach 80. I believe each decision should be carefully considered to see if it aligns with my affections. And that creates another question: What or who do I love? Is that a proper affection?
The Great Commandment is…
There are two primary commands God has given that should drive all of our decisions. Both have to do with our affections. The first and greatest one is “Love God.” How do I know this? It is because of a question someone asked Jesus: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
“And he (Jesus) said to him (a Pharisee lawyer), ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39 (ESV)
So, today’s priority and the resulting decisions should be the result of numbering my days correctly with a focus on loving God and loving others. Those two, work hand-in-hand. If you do the first one, the second one has to follow. If I think I can do the second one without considering the first and greatest commandment, I am delusional.
Make the Best Use of Time
Here are some ways to think about the choices of today and for the balance of 2021:
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:5-6 (ESV)
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (ESV)
In the book of Ecclesiastes, the son of David, probably Solomon, understood that we have a brief season and a time. It starts with a time to be born. It ends with a time to die. In between there are ways to use time and events that cause us to consider the ways we are moving through our one life. These all involve God “under heaven” and people “a time to.” All of this is a gift of God. God is working. I should fear God and do good in this life while he makes everything beautiful in his patient, loving, and all-wise time.
This could be my last blog post. I don’t know if I have a January 3, 2021. You don’t know if you have tomorrow. However, if you are reading this, then you are still alive. If you are still alive, think about how you will use today. Today is the only day remaining that you can respond to God’s love. He loves you and me. If you don’t know this, and want to know how I know that he loves you, then reach out to me.