Points to Ponder: The Clock Always Ticks Forward

Points to Ponder
The Clock Always Ticks Forward
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer

You have a 2 p.m. doctor's appointment. On the way you stop at a restaurant for a sandwich. The trainee, fumbling around with the register because it's still unfamiliar to her, is sincerely trying to give good service with a smile. The manager comes to help, apologizing to you for the wait. Finally you pick up your meal, sit at your table and discover it's not what you ordered. The clerk apologizes for the error; the assistant manager quickly orders the proper item. She apologizes profusely for the mistake and promises to deliver the right order to your table. The manager comes to apologize for the delay, which has added almost 15 minutes to your lunch visit before you even get to eat it. The manager hand delivers your order, with apologies.
You arrive at the doctor's office at 1:50 p.m., ten minutes early. You sign in and sit down. At 2:10, you're still waiting, and no one has come to tell you how much longer. At 2:20,it's the same. At 2:35 p.m., you are called. No one says, "Sorry for your wait, Ma'am" (or Sir). And once in the room, the doctor does not apologize for keeping you waiting thirty-five minutes. If you're in the Emergency Room (an interesting name, since you may wait for hours), also no apologies. Why is that?
Someone may tell you that restaurant time standards are for the purpose of processing people through like cattle. Well, who apologizes to a cow?
There's an inconsistency in how people regard the value of time. You're put on hold, wait in line, sit in the "waiting room," and spend time you can never retrieve. Sometimes we're accepting of that. At other times, even a two-minute wait can kick up your blood pressure. Don't you hate it when people waste your time? Why is that not okay?
Do you ever ponder how much time you yourself waste? But what is wasted time? How do you measure that? Is that the essence of the so-called "mid-life crisis"? You reach that age where you believe that most of your years are over. Do you think about where you are and then reflect upon the path you've taken? Do you ever wonder: "Did I waste my life - my time?" How do you assess such a subjective thing? And what if you have confidently concluded that some of your best years - and all of their potential - were wasted?
Do you ever feel like God wastes your time? The psalmist complains to God that He's taking too long to deal with his complaint:
"How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? Will your wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is; for what futility have You created all the children of men?" (Psalm 89:46-47).
My life is a waste; and it's Your fault! Or, do you feel like God could have come up with a better plan than the one you're living out now? Where do we find significance in little things that seem to be eating up our life's time?
Your significance does not come from what you're doing. It is who you are being while you're at it. Consider Moses, having spent 40 years in his father-in-law's sheepfold, then 40more years in the wilderness with a million whiney Israelites. Did he waste his lifetime? Yet we look to him as a prime example of humble obedience. We still consult his writing and his life example to guide us in how we live ours. He probably never thought that would happen.
Look at Moses' prayer. He sees from God's perspective:
"For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, antlike a watch in the night. You carry them away like a flood. They are like asleep" (Psalm 90:4-5a).
Then he seeks to understand how to perceive his own life's course.
"So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom"(Psalm 90:12).
I don't like to feel like I have wasted my time at something, but in the grander plan of life, every moment is an investment if it is lived for God. Is that too simple? Maybe we make it more complicated than it needs to be. Consider the difference between counting your days and letting God number them. Remember where wisdom begins:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10).

Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45 a.m. & p.m. & Wed at 10:45 a.m. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.