Your Time is Now Mine

Last night, we had our Ikthus East Couples’ meeting at the Dientes’ residence at Palisades Subdivision, Homesite, Bacolod City. Our speaker was a British national who is married to a Filipina. He is also connected with Family Foundations, a Christian organization engaged in helping families (spouses, parents, children) heal and strengthen their relationship to one another and to God.

He shared with us his testimony: How he, an atheist, turned to Christ after living a life marred by unfaithfulness and alcoholism, mainly because of the change he saw in his wife, who loved, forgave, and accepted him in spite of his sins.

He shared a number of things that surely touched the hearts of all of us: how he lost his job, how he faced his debts, how God provided for all their needs in unexpected and miraculous ways. But what impacted me most was the time when God, after giving him his job back (with another company) finally took it away again (he was already a Christian when this happened). And in his heart God was telling him, “You have no more debts. Your time is now mine.” They had no savings, but they had a small business, and that was enough for their daily needs. His time now belonged to the Lord; and he now spends it in sharing God’s word and helping families find hope, strength, and meaning in Christ Jesus.

That was yesterday. Right now I’m reading a book I just bought from National Bookstore: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma. I’m reading the first few pages about a great trial lawyer who suffered a massive heart attack in the courtroom. He was 53 years old – my age now. He was driven, a workaholic, a success, and now about to die an untimely death, most probably as a result of his drivenness.

I stopped reading and proceeded to write this article. I am reminded of how short life is, and how little time is left to serve God with all our might. I don’t know yet what the next steps in my life should be, but the thought of being nothing more than a lawyer when I die does not sit well with me.

God has given us enough time to accumulate enough wealth to pay off our debts and to provide for our future. It does not make sense to spend the time we have left on this earth to accumulate more and more (money, land, possessions, etc.), which we will certainly leave behind us when we die. That time is better spent doing something else, something more meaningful and more lasting.

“Your time now belongs to me.” If this is indeed God speaking, we do well to heed him.

Nothing that happens to me is meaningless

I believe that nothing that happens to me is meaningless, and that it is good for us all that it should be so, even if it runs counter to our own wishes. As I see it, I’m here for some purpose, and I hope I may fulfill it. In the light of the great purpose all our privations and disappointments are trivial.

– Bonhoeffer

What is Man? What is Your Life?

What is man? A vessel that the slightest shaking, the slightest toss will break… A body weak and fragile, naked, in its natural state defenceless, dependent upon another’s help and exposed to all the affronts of Fortune.”

(Seneca, quoted in Alan de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy)

The New Testament says something similar; the difference is it subscribes to the idea of providence, not fortune.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16)