Notes from the church lady
Published: Wednesday, May 14th, 2003
“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:13-14 This spring, I chose to take a couple of classes through Mesalands Community College. These weren’t usual classes attended on a scheduled basis. They were designed to complete according to the student’s schedule. The first is an individual physical conditioning course. Set up on the honor system, the gym provides all sorts of workout equipment offering a wide variety of ways to complete the class. Taking a class through the Internet was a new experience for me. Left up to the individual, chapters were completed according to the student’s schedule. I felt as though I had all the time in the world. A semester seemed to be a long time, more than enough to complete the courses. I began the courses with great enthusiasm and set aside blocks of time each day to complete the work. Soon, other things arose and I found myself spending less and less time on my classes. I didn’t worry though; I still had plenty of time to complete the work. At least I thought I had plenty of time when I suddenly became ill. Fighting a major illness and winding up in the hospital drove all thoughts of class from my mind. My efforts were transformed into trying to regain my health. When I felt better, I realized I needed to catch up on my classes. The problem was how to make up for lost time. Suddenly, I had a brilliant idea, I would simply drop the classes and my problems were solved. At least I thought they were solved until I found out I missed the deadline for dropping out of class without it affecting my grade. Faced with a new dilemma, I plunged myself back into my classes. Still weak from my illness, I had to start out very slow, walking on the treadmill at first for only five minutes at the slowest speed possible. While I am still not back to the level I was before my illness, I am slowly gaining ground. As I write this, I have two more classes to attend to reach the required number of visits. My Internet class is just as challenging as I had over half of the textbook to complete in less than a month including several tests and essays to write. At this point, I am unsure if I will be able to complete all the required work. The reader may ask what all of this has to do with the Kingdom of God. On the surface, it seems to be merely a secular problem that has nothing to do with eternity. However, I want to point out that it has everything to do with eternity. When we are born, we think we have all the time in the world to complete everything needed and wanted on this earth. There are numerous things we plan to do “someday” because we know we have all the time in the world. The opposite is true. As I read the obituaries in the Sun, I realize that life is so fleeting. While there were numerous elderly people who passed away this year, there were so many others that had their entire life ahead of them. There were the infants and toddlers who had their whole life ahead, only to have their life ended way to soon. They never had the chance to decide what they wanted to do with their lives before it was over. There was the teenager whose life was cut short by a freak accident. He thought he had his entire life ahead of him. Finally, there was the father in his 40s who had so many plans. In the prime of his life, he thought he had plenty of time before an auto accident suddenly cut his life short. No matter what our age or circumstance, none of us are assured a set number of years on this earth. Life is fleeting and ended without a single warning. It is no respecter of age or state of health. Some friends and I were talking about a man we greatly respected and admired. He was always taking care of his mother because he thought she would be gone long before he was. He passed away several years ago and even in ill health, his mother continues on. How much time do you have on this earth? Only the Lord knows.
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