Do you remember a time when as a kid you had to wait for something. I remember being at a friend’s house during one particular summer. It was on this day that my friend’s mother declared that we would have some “rest” time. What this amounted to was about thirty minutes during which we must be silent and she could pretend there was sanity to be had in her household. Of course there was not, and in thirty minutes, I’m sure loud, tromping, boyish madness ensued, but for thirty minutes, she experienced what some people must consider a moment of “zen.” Or at least quiet.
But for me, it was an eternity. An eternity of mind-wrenching boredom. An eternity from which I was afraid I would never escape. Time slowed to a sloth’s pace. Out of the inactivity of the household, sounds we had never noticed began to surface. Creaks in the floor. The obnoxiously repetitive sound of my own breath entering and leaving my nostrils. And I imagine the light thip-thump-thips of the two evil cats that my friend sheltered.
But finally, eternity ended and play resumed. Thirty minutes. I look back on that moment, and notice how rarely time slows down as it once did when I was younger. With kids and a job and life’s responsibilities, time seems more to be sand slipping through open hands.
I recently spoke with a friend-mentor type person who made the helpful observation that of all the things we will gain in heaven, we will lose one thing in particular- the opportunity to share the gospel. We have 85 years, give or take a decade, and then eternity. A breath. A mist. And in that short span, God has commissioned us to share the gospel.
Of all the things that I may accomplish in my lifetime, I hope that I am faithful to share the gospel as clearly and consistently as I have been given opportunity.