FROM THE PASTOR'S DESK
A few years back news outlets reported a heart-wrenching story. In Los Angeles, a car sped out of control and crashed into a house, killing a sixteen-year-old girl as she slept in her bedroom. Adding to the crushing sorrow for the girl’s parents was the discovery that the person driving the vehicle that killed their daughter was driving under the influence. This is, in every way, an absolutely senseless tragedy. While there are many lessons to be learned here, there are two observations I would make in light of this case.
First, as if we needed more reminding, we live in a fallen world populated by sinful human beings. Disobedience to God (sin) is far more than a mere personal matter, as was the case when the driver chose to get behind the wheel while inebriated. Often our sin does indeed affect others (as was the circumstance here). Our actions have consequences and so more than ever we need to keep in step with the Spirit, remembering that we were created in Christ Jesus not for sin but for good works (Eph. 2:10). So put off the old, sinful flesh and put on the new creation.
The other observation to keep in mind from this tragedy: none of us know what our tomorrow holds. Whether we are sixty or sixteen, for all we know today could be our final day. The psalmist (Ps. 90:12) prays, “…Teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” The New Testament continues this theme in Ephesians 5:14-15, “So then, be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” While certainly these verses issue a call to godly living and with that call a greater effort to obey God’s will, I think they also exhort us in our relationships.
We need to keep short accounts with the people around us. For most of us, we have families that we need to treasure not battle. That is true too for our church family. And they need to know that we love them. This month and next as a culture we set aside two days, one to honor our Mothers and the other our Fathers. If you still have yours, go out of your way to encourage them with your love.
Also, when it comes to relationships, this incident should be a reminder to parents that even though our children are a precious gift from God, He is still the One to determine the number of their days. As much as we want (expect) them to outlive us, we simply do not know if that will be the case. So love them enough to give them clear boundaries, to put aside your anger, to blend your firm discipline with copious amounts of laughter and reading and singing and talking. In short, prize the moments you have with them ‘making the most of your time.’
While stories like this one make us long for the soon return of Jesus, our work here is not finished until He says so. And that work includes not only the Great Commission but also the Great Commandment, to love one another even as He has loved us. So let’s redeem our time in the days ahead, walking in the Spirit and letting love and encouragement dominate our relationships. And when He does come, either for His Church in the Rapture or for us individually in death, we will have no regrets.
In Christ our living hope,