I go to bed too late, I wake up too late. No matter what, I seem to always be running late. Don’t get me wrong: I am punctual when it comes to showing up to meetings or when up against a deadline, but somehow it always seems like there is never enough time in the day to get everything done. There seems to be a never-ending cycle of stress; I go to bed with mile-high to-do lists and wake up the next morning with said lists even longer. I dream of more things to accomplish yet they never seem to get checked off the list.
Am I lazy, unorganized, lacking focus, and taking on too much, or is there really not enough time in the day to get everything done? Most who know me would never call me lazy. My wife is driven mad by my insistence that everything is clean and in its place, and I am picky about who and what I say yes to. Yet, there is still something that stands in my way of feeling productive at the end of the day.
I have come to realize that the feeling of incompleteness does not come from the lack of things I have accomplished. The feeling comes deep from in my heart, caused not by a lack of productivity, but by a lack of value in that which I am productive in. I stand, lie, and sit, hunted by the fact that the pursuit of my life holds no value. While I strive and struggle for wealth, power, and notoriety, the days of my short life are what truly grow late.
To many, I am still young with my whole life ahead of me. But, I know the truth. My days are finite, set in stone by the God who created me. It is not for me to squander the days that I have left in pursuit of foolish desires. The truth is that we are all guilty of such things. Those who hold no faith believe that their deeds will define their eternity, while those of us with faith believe that the blood of Christ excuses us from the need of living in servanthood to our God and our fellow man. It is by faith that we are saved, but without works to prove our faith, how are we set apart? The time is running late for all of us, but there is hope.
Whether we have one hour left or 500,000 thousand hours, the time to change our hearts and our actions is now. It is never too late or too early to change, and it is never a good time to underestimate the power of the current moment. My life has seen great worldly success, but it took losing it all to understand the true meaning of running late. I let moment after moment pass me by. I traded faithfulness for worldly glory. But, in the end, I found myself with dirt on my hands and mud on my face. Each heavy step I took towards success brought me closer to my doom. I thought that I could live chasing after the future while ignoring the moment in front of me.
Now, with nothing left to lose, I can see that I have everything to gain. Tears literally fill my eyes as I write this. These words perhaps hold more value to me than to you my loyal readers. It is time for a worthy purpose to steal my time. Whether you have faith, or read this as a skeptic, feel my pain with me so that your eyes can be opened to the truth. Life is not random. The world was not put into place by chance. Our time is not for us to waste.
The hope found in sorrow, the success forged from failure, the wealth gained from loss is this: Each one of us was stitched together by a God who loved us so much that he lost everything so that we could be set free. We cannot live in ignorance of this fact. We cannot let our time run late, by running from the truth. Our God has called us to a higher purpose than selfish pursuits.
Success, power, glory, wealth…these are not bad things. They are not things that we should fear or hide from, but let us not forget their purpose. If you have success, use it to build others up. If you have power, use it to protect the powerless. If you have glory, use it to uplift others. If you have wealth, use it to provide for those in need. If you have none of these, you are the most blessed of all. Use your humble suffering as an example to all those who need hope. Be kind, honest, and eager to serve.
I no longer have the means to pursue my own ways and in this tragedy, I have found my true calling. I am a broken and weak man; however, it is this brokenness that has set me free. For the first time in many years, I have time to build friendships, care for strangers, cherish my wife, and serve my God. Through my weakness, God has provided my heart’s desires. All the things I lost to my own pursuits have been given back. Though I am sick and poor, I now have everything that I never knew I needed. Let us all learn to cherish the little things, keep those we love close, and desire a fulfilled life more than a full schedule that keeps us running late.