“You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” James 5:8-9
Time is relative depending on circumstances in your life. It can “fly by” and it can drag. I was not relishing the length of a car trip recently. Fortunately, I ended up on my cell phone for several hours with my wife, and “the time flew by.” Before I realized it I was home. You can multiply similar experiences exponentially in your own life.
When I, a history student, consider the years of human history from Adam and Eve to the present, in some ways I see a train slowly chugging up a long uphill grade and moving steadily, but at a fairly slow pace. There was time to take in a lot of the scenery and be involved in any number of tasks and not really miss much if anything. But somewhere around the beginning of the twentieth century that slow moving train of civilization reached the top of the grade and started down the other side. Having crested the top of the mountain the pace picked up dramatically. This train now seems to be hurtling down the hill gaining more and more speed at every moment. Now if you involve yourself in any one task you miss changes taking place in every direction. Before you complete a task there may be ten newer, better ways to do it. To get a sense of the speed in which our world is changing and moving take two minutes and view the following:http://www.newportharbor.us/shift.htm
The increasing speed of technology, multiplying information, world population growth should not make us frantic, or serve as a distraction from the tasks and calling at hand. Jesus says that we are blessed if when He comes He finds us at work with what He has called us to do; and doing it in a manner pleasing to Him. As George MacDonald wrote: “Obedience is the one key of life.”
I do not pretend to know the time of our Lord’s return. No one does, except the Father in heaven. Still our Lord chose to tell every reader of His Word, “Behold, I am coming soon.” I believe His message has personal meaning for everyone in every age since Jesus spoke this to John near the end of the first century. Whether or not the Lord’s return occurs in the next year, or ten years or more, the “soon” of Jesus’ words holds true meaning in the relativity of time for each one of us. We could be in His presence in the next instant, and depending on the “time of heaven” join Him as He returns in what we really will know as “soon.” I do not believe the Lord would have said it unless it holds real truth for us, and directs us in the way we should go, and how we ought to think.
He emphasizes over and over one primary warning: “Be ready.” Is what you are doing, and what you are today, able to stand the test of His verdict? Don’t give all your heart presently to something which will not “endure the day of His coming” (Malachi 3:2). C.S. Lewis reminds us that “the doctrine of the Second Coming has failed, so far as we are concerned, if it does not make us realize that at every moment of every year in our lives Donne’s question “What if this present were the world’s last night?” is equally relevant.”
“Heavenly Father, may 2008 be a year in which I am about the work you called me to do, with the prayer, “even so come, Lord Jesus,” on my lips.”
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