Over the last few days, my thoughts have been consumed by a lovely lady within our church who is nearing the end of her journey on earth. I’ve thought about the relationship she has had with her devoted husband for 63 years and the love they have shared. I’ve thought about how over the last six years that I have known them, they have loved well. What a great thing to be able to say!
Will I be able to say that of the relationships in my life when the time comes to say goodbye?
Saving daylight is not just about time-management as in making sure that the priorities in my life are getting the attention they deserve, but HOW that time is then spent. How often do we waste time getting upset over pettiness and bickering or giving each other the silent-treatment, even though that relational priority is getting plenty of time?
How often do we get so upset with someone we once cared deeply for that the relationship is damaged to the point we, at best, question whether or not it can even be restored? How do we get to that point?
Perhaps we seriously need to re-examine the gift of time.
Once time is spent, it is gone forever. It cannot be re-claimed. It can only be redeemed. How are you handling the time you have been given with the relationships in your life? Are you being responsible or more like an individual who has gotten behind the wheel having had too much to drink? Are you driving recklessly over all the people you claim to have loved? If we’re honest, most (if not all) of the problems in our relationships arise because of self-centeredness. Rather than living according to the biblical directive to “do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but in humility count others as more significant than yourself,” we get upset when the other person doesn’t bow to our expectations (often because they are looking after themselves).
Maybe it’s way past time to hold up the mirror in front of our own faces to see how well we are doing with the fleeting time we have been given in the area of our relationships. Are we loving well? Are there relationships in our lives that are damaged or, in our view, dead because of failing to love well…sacrificially?
These are questions I am asking myself. Am I loving my wife as Christ loves His church: sacrificially, completely and unconditionally? Am I loving my children, not just by saying the words, “I love you,” which I do constantly, but with quality time and quantity time? Am I showing them I love them by creating a godly lifestyle pattern rather than simply a long list of cold rules?
This can be a painful process. We may find that we’ve actually wasted the precious daylight that we have. If so, change! Ask the important questions:
What attitudes need to be changed in my life?
What habits or practices need to be altered or stopped altogether?
What activities or time-thieves need to be confronted and eliminated?
What relationships do I need to revisit and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, renew. This may be the toughest one to accomplish!
Daylight is burning, but as long as the sun is still shining in your life, you have time. Redeem it! The sun will be setting soon enough. Don’t allow that last little ray to fade, wondering if you could have done more.
(Read Part 1 here.)