Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

My, how time flies!


 "Remember how short my time is..." (Psalm 89:47a)

By Bishop Robert E. Hayes

Someone is going to break into your house in a few days and make off with one of your most precious possessions.

You won't be able to prevent it. The thief will come and go, undetected, unheard, and unseen. Forget about calling the police; they won't be able to respond.

Do I have your attention?

The mean-spirited "thief" to whom I refer steals one hour of our time every year. He sneaks in at 2 o'clock on a Sunday morning, "springs" our timepieces forward one hour, then darts back into the dark of night for another 12 months.

His silent partner surfaces in autumn to reset our clocks, arguably to give back the hour that was taken.

But it's too late. The time is gone.

The annual onset of daylight-saving time causes an adjustment that is difficult for many of us. Personally, I'm a night person. You can keep your daylight. Give me back the hour of sleep that was stolen!

I already know that when I get up on Sunday, March 11, I will feel cheated. Robbed. Victimized.

Starting this year, daylight time in the United States begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

I rail against it, yet I must accept that change on the clock and do the best I can under the circumstances. It's those circumstances that have me thinking about this concept called time.

In the Old Testament book of Job (7:6), you will find a vivid illustration of the impermanence of our time.

Job says, "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle." You know what that verse means if you have seen a weaver working at a loom and watched the shuttle flash as it crossed the warp to lay the wool in the tapestry.

Or, think on what the Psalmist wrote: "For our days pass away under thy wrath; our years come to an end like a sigh. They are soon gone, and we fly away." (Psalm 90)

Those verses make us more thoughtful and appreciative of the span of years with which God has blessed us. But my main objective in this Lenten season is to remind you:

Time is running out!

"Don't wait or tarry!  Come before winter"

In what I feel is one of the most significant verses in the Bible, Paul speaks directly to us about time and change. The Scripture is from Paul's second letter to his son in the ministry.

II Timothy 4:21 captures the importance of making the decision to repent of our sins and get right with God while there is still time. This verse reminds us that now is the time to act, to confess, to clean up our lives, and to make a commitment for Christ.

The passage reads: "Do your best to come before winter."

We often put off the hard job of cleaning up our lives. We decide, "I'll change tomorrow or next ..." We always think there will be enough time.

This is truth: Our tomorrows may never come, and there is never enough time.

Winter, as Paul saw it, is more than a season. It is a stage of life. And some of us, whether we know it or not, may be in the winter of our lives.

Have you thought that you might not get another chance to straighten out your relationships? That this might be your last Easter?

This is the message Paul sent to Timothy. Knowing there are only a few weeks until Easter, I send the same message to you today:

Don't wait! Don't tarry! Come to God today. Repent of your sins and ask God to renew a right spirit in you. Do it now! Don't put it off.

In closing

My dear Christian friends, we know neither the time nor the day when God will call. I am no messenger of doom, but I must be faithful to my calling by telling you of the approaching storms of life.

Lent is the season we prepare for those storms, and now is the time to gather your provisions.

Go to God now and get what you'll need for the journey. You can't afford to delay.

If you knew a thief was coming, to break into your home at a given hour, wouldn't you be ready for him when he arrived? (Matthew 24:43) Make ready now, so when the unexpected day, hour, or month arrives, you'll be ready.

As for me and this article, I have run out of time.


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