As we recognized our graduates in a worship service recently, I made the comment that, “It’s been a loooong time since many of us graduated from high school.” A light chuckle rippled through the congregation as people briefly recalled their own graduation.
I reflected, also, with a sense of disbelief at how fast the past 40-plus years since high school have flown.
I remember my graduation from Baldwin High School, the older campus where apartments stand now, not the new one on Milledgeville’s Highway 49 West. Rain drove the ceremony indoors and the school’s auditorium could not hold everyone, so we were issued TWO TICKETS EACH!
We went through the ceremony, though it was rather warm, and each graduate’s name was called. However, many of us were handed the wrong diploma. I can’t remember whose I received, but after the ceremony, we had a large-scale, somewhat chaotic diploma exchange.
That summer I worked part-time at a local radio station, then entered Georgia College that Fall. Two years at Georgia College, then transferred to Georgia Southern College (now University), took my first job after graduation at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, got married, then after one year took a job at what was then the Baptist Home Mission Board in Atlanta, then had our first child, then felt led to pursue a seminary degree to prepare for fulltime Christian service which eventually became the pastorate.
Enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and began three-and-a-half years of rigorous study, had our second child, then graduated, took our first church in Carmel, Indiana, had our third and fourth children, served there nearly six years until moving to North Georgia to serve a church for eight-and-a-half years, then moved to Fayetteville to serve McDonough Road Baptist Church over 23 years ago . . .
Grandchildren came along... nine of them, with the oldest now in middle school. Life keeps moving swifter and swifter.
Why does time seem to move faster as we grow older?
Scientists have researched this topic. They say it’s not just a subjective perception, but a real phenomenon. Though researchers have not reached a consensus on the cause, in a paper published in 2019, Professor Adrian Bejun presented an argument based on neural signal processing. He says over time, the rate at which we process visual information slows down, which makes time speed up as we grow older. In other words, blame it on simple physics.
That explanation is way over my head.
I do know this. Every day is a gift.
Paul wrote, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time...” (Eph. 5:15-16). Time is a gift from God and no one knows how much time we have on this Earth.
Thus, we must maximize this gift.
Also, life is short. Psalms 144:4 reads, “Man is like a breath. His days are like a passing shadow.”
Life’s too short not to enjoy each day.
Life’s too short to sweat the small stuff.
Life’s too short to stay at odds with someone you love.
Life’s too short to fill our days and sometimes our nights with worry. Trust God.
Life’s too short to be ungrateful. Count your blessings.
Life’s too short so fill it with laughter and joy.
We also know life is uncertain, but God has a plan. I have a friend who suddenly became ill and unexpectedly left us way before her time. Our loss is heaven’s gain because, thankfully, she knew Jesus.
Tim Challies wrote Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God, an honest account of the pain he and his wife suffered when they lost their 20-year-old son, Nick. This book shows how to grieve as those who have real hope in a real Savior.
He wrote, “I trust Nick lived the number of years, days, hours, minutes and seconds that were perfect for him. His life was not cut short but lived to the final moment of God’s good plan... In the wisdom of God and according to the will of God, he died not a moment too late, and not a moment too early.”
Nick was kept by God until God was ready to call him home, he said.
God, teach us to number our days, and to live each day for you.
David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. Visit www.mcdonoughroad.org for more information about the church and to view online worship. Visit www.davidchancey.com to see more of Chancey’s writings.
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