The Days are moving faster…

When I was a child summer vacation from school lasted four years…or so it seemed. Running and playing in the woods near our home, riding bikes with Kent Tovey my pal, swimming in Terrace Lake; summer was an almost endless journey in the halcyon days of my youth.

These days, it seems like we had cookouts every weekend, the Four-H Fair appeared to last a month and we went to the fair every night. Pick up baseball and basketball games were on every corner…and; especially in the 1960’s, going OUT to eat was like…OMG!!!! Even then, “going out to eat’ meant Frisch’s or even more rare…going to “Lotus Gardens” in Greenwood Indiana.

Then, when school began, it seemed that school lasted four years as well. Days seemed to go slowly, the clock ticked once every five seconds it seemed. Teachers spoke like Charlie Brown’s teacher…”Wha wha wha, wha wha….WH WHA wha wha!” As a Catholic kid, I tried to make other kids laugh while they were standing in line for communion…’cause they’d get in trouble from one of the sisters if they were caught giggling. I was a troublemaker, but then, so were Steve Deppe, and Terry Harper and Kirk Long and Don McGuire, partners in crime…all. One day in elementary school lasted approximately 3 days back then. The sun; not having much to do, would stand stationary for two hours in the morning right about during reading and it stood still for 3 hours during math class.

Around 7th grade, something peculiar happened. Days began to move a little faster. A bell would ring and then I noticed the clock ticking pretty much every second…but a second back then was longer of course. Maybe the teachers got prettier…or maybe I just noticed them nore…well, Mr. Hughes didn’t get cuter, but…well ‘nuff said. However, it began to move into a regular 24 hour day by the time I reached High School.  Summer vacations got shorter and less adventuresome.

 By the time I had grown up enough to have a family, days had begun moving at a much faster clip. I recall one day was only 6 hours long….don’t bother to contradict me…it WAS only 6 hours long and that’s when I knew that God had been hiding something from me…from ALL of us! He had been hiding the fact that life was actually a fleeting thing and that we had better make something of ourselves during the short time we have here.

I didn’t think that was quite fair, hiding this information from little kids all that time. By the time you grow up enough to realize that eating six hot dogs quickly was a bad idea and that picking your nose wasn’t socially acceptable, you had three kids of your own and the guy running the Tilt-a Whirl at the Four- H- Fair was some creepy carnival dude who smoked too many Lucky Strikes. You wondered how in the world your parents could have dropped you off to roam free in the midway with all of the strange people on the loose.

These days, my days last approximately, 20 minutes. I eat breakfast at 3 am, lunch at 10 and dinner at 3:30. My wife seems to just get home right before I wind the alarm clock, brush my teeth and get in bed. This is why people get old quickly. God turns up the speed of the earth as you get older and you age 30 years in six months. Your tiny grandchildren yesterday are running for Congress today, and in 20 minutes they will be bouncing a grandchild on THEIR knees while you will have been dust for 20 years.

Such is the rhythm of life and as you contemplate that, also consider this…if you could stretch a rope 5 hundred yards in front of you…so that you stood on one end of it and could barely see the other end, the life you now live would only take up one inch of it. That’s right…one inch. 80 years maybe? One inch, or even less, and then all of the decisions you made in that one inch would  determine what you would experience in the other 500 yards. The problem is, the rope isn’t only 500 yards long…it goes on for eternity. The decisions you make…concerning Jesus, concerning how you treat your neighbor, concerning who is most important in your life RIGHT NOW…will determine EVERYTHING. And the earth and the Sun seem to be moving faster still.

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You Live on a Mud Ball…

I have been blessed with seeing God do really remarkable things throughout my life. Every time God interrupts my day with His presence and miraculous things happen I am so thrilled. But there are many more days in my life that those things DON’T happen. In fact, the majority of my days do not include some miraculous conversation or event. The ones that I post are stand out days and I confess, I really look forward to them…but they are few and far between.

So…what happens on the days that doesn’t happen? What happens when there are no divine interruptions? What goes on during ordinary days, when there isn’t someone to talk to in lines while waiting for coffee or at a supermarket or getting my hair cut? What happens on the days I’m not hearing the Lord speak to me in a bookstore or at my job?

In fact, what happened to the millions of people we never read about in the Bible on the days when the Red Sea wasn’t parting or David wasn’t slaying giants? What about the people in the market place when Joseph and Mary were looking for Jesus when he had stayed behind in Jerusalem when he was a 12-year-old boy? Were their lives important to God even though they didn’t make it into the Bible?

Was God only interested in the 12 apostles and the few people that came across his path when He was on the earth? What about the people who wanted to get close to him but couldn’t, and Jesus passed them by? Were those people who were working their jobs and raising their children in Galilee just not important? Were those “throw-away” days and people? Maybe you feel that way. Does God even take notice when I am going through the monotonous tasks day after day?

It may interest you to know that every single day that takes place is just as important to God and every single human being on the planet is of great worth and importance to Him. There ARE no unimportant events to Him. There is nothing that you do that He does not want to be a part of.

Most of my day is stocking store shelves, ordering a measure for carpet or cutting window blinds for people. I have days when there is NOTHING happening of any evident spiritual significance in my life. It is on those days, that God is still watching over me, still loving me and still wanting to guide me to opportunities. But I have to remember that it is almost always what happens on the non-miraculous days when I feel the Lord closest to me.

Today is one of those days. I’m writing in the morning before I go to work and in all honesty, I’m just tired and wanting the day to be over before it begins. It’s true. I want to have a “God Moment” today but if it doesn’t happen, the Lord still cares as much as He does on those days when something wonderful happens. What am I trying to say?

Life can be boring and monotonous, going to work, coming home, only to go to bed and repeat it all over again tomorrow. But if 99% of our lives are like that, God still takes interest in them. There are no “throw-away” days and no “throw-away” lives with God. I think this may be the greatest challenge to human beings.

When man fell in the Garden, endless and unbroken fellowship with God ended. It was broken and Man and God could no longer enjoy time in the presence of each other until Jesus opened the door again. I believe there is NOTHING boring in the presence of God. There are no days in his presence that aren’t new and spectacular. There are no moments of boredom where we will think about turning on the television because there is nothing to do. Presence and fellowship with God does not have to wait until you die and are in Heaven but PERFECT fellowship does. True, right now, “we see through a glass darkly” and so we have the Holy Spirit as a “seal” or a down payment of what we will have when the perfect comes. But a time is coming when we will not have to do with the “partial” any longer!

This is where faith comes in. We are looking diligently toward that day when there will be no more dreary task filled days where we tire easily. We are going to a place of unparalleled beauty and unequaled adventure. We are awaiting the moment our eyes see REAL color and when we hear REAL music after the lifetime of artificial substitutes. This is why it is called “The Believer’s Hope”. We await the time we sing with perfect voices, where angelic beings will be visible to us and the unspeakable beauty and joy will be ours not for 70 or 80 years but FOR ETERNITY!

We trudge through this dark muddy orb with a flicker of light within us telling us there is more…up, over the rim of this existence where the dawn explodes with colors to incredible for words. We endure, we persevere this life we live in a single file existence for a life where there will be no boundaries…no limits, and no liver and onions! A place that makes your greatest dreams appear as nothing.

I will set up measures today for a lot of customers…but there is something coming which will make everything I have ever done to be forgotten. Persevere, my friends, …persevere!

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. II Corinthians 4:7-18