If Only I Had More Time
The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Matthew 24:29
When I was a kid, I decided to start weight lifting just one day prior to my first wrestling meet. I was going to get strong . . . in less than 24 hours. I didn’t get strong. I got really sore. In pain the next morning, I promised myself that I’d lift weights every day in preparation for the next wrestling tournament, but I didn’t. When the next one came, I found myself looking back regretfully. If only I’d worked harder. If only I had more time.
I’d like to say I learned my lesson as a kid, but still, every time I enter some athletic competition, I find myself wishing I’d eaten less and worked out more. I promise I’ll do better next time, but when next time comes, I find myself in the same situation. This would be amusing if it were only about exercise.
In my addiction, I always knew I’d clean up . . . tomorrow. I could live how I wanted today and turn things around eventually. When my judgment day came, I’d known it was coming, but yet I was somehow surprised. I was going to get sober. I just needed more time. I wish I had lived differently.
In today’s passage, Jesus reminds us that we do not have an infinite amount of time. At some point, the hourglass runs out for everyone. We have a beginning and we have an end. At the end, will we look back with regret? Oh, how I wished I’d lived for the important things! If only I had more time, I’d do things differently!
Jesus insists that the time to live right is now. Our days may seem long while we’re in them, but our day of reckoning will come. Though we’re continually tempted by our appetite for immediate gratification, Jesus asks us to daily abandon ourselves to follow him. The love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:12-13).
The life we truly want is not something we get to eventually. We’ll never find it that way. If we want to know faith, life, and recovery, we must do what it takes to pursue those things here and now.