A birth, a life, a death.
This much is certain.
A life – my life, your life – length unknown.
What are you doing with this moment?
Those who have influenced the world most are those that have done the most with the time they are given. Those who have changed the world are those that were most aware of the value of every minute.
They were governed by the same clock, the same calendar by which you are governed. They did not know when their time would end, but they lived with an understanding that the passing of every minute is an irretrievable commodity.
What motivates you?
I recently asked a number of people what motivated them. The answers were surprisingly varied, yet I would venture to say that those with noblest motivations are those with a true understanding of time.
Several mothers responded by saying that their children motivate them. They know that childhood and adolescence are fleeting, but they also realize that these years are foundational to their children’s futures so they cherish the time they have to mentor and mold.
A number of people responded with motivations like “glorifying God,” “the cross,” and “the love of Christ.” I believe they understand that we will give account for the time that we are given, and only the things that are done for Christ will matter.
I don’t think there is necessarily any one right answer for what should be our motivation, but I strongly believe that our motivations should be centered on Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:12-13 speaks on the importance of this saying: “Now if any man build upon this foundation [Jesus Christ] gold, silver, precious stones, [eternal things] wood, hay, stubble; [temporal things] Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”
What you do with your time reveals your true motivations.
I can claim that the future is my motivation, but if I do not spend my time wisely or better yet, invest that time now, my claim is unfounded. I can tell you that the love of Christ is my motivation, but if my actions do not reveal the love of Christ to others then my words are meaningless.
Assess your life. Be honest. What motivates you? Is it relationships, identity, health, knowledge, wealth, beauty, acceptance – this is what the world will tell you is most important, but none of these things can last. People will come and go. Health will fail. Riches will not last. Beauty will fade.
Do you want to make a difference with the time you are given?
C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
Paul was one of those Christians. He understood that his time on this earth was short, and there was much to be done. His advice: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
I recently asked my students if any one knew what God’s will was for their lives. I was completely surprised that not one hand went up. Then I realized why. To them, God’s will was something far off in the future – when they needed to decide where to go to college, or what career path they should take, or whom they would marry. Those decisions are indeed aspects of God’s will, but He has a will for each and every one of us right now. I began quoting Romans 12:1-2, and they finished with me. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Seek God’s will today, and He will inevitably direct you towards the right college, the right career, and the right spouse; and He will do it all in the right time too!
God has given you this moment, right now.
Today you will either choose to become more like the world or more like Christ. With every passing minute you move in one direction or the other. You cannot conform to the world AND be transformed by the Word.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17
Today you will either invest your time into your own future and the future of others or you will waste it on selfish pleasures that hold no significance. Live with eternity in mind.
The length of your life may be unknown, but you have now. What will you do with it?