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Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. – Psalm 71:9 (KJV)
Take a look at today’s illustration. It’s a Salvador Dali painting, showing a clock that is sliding off the table and another one is bent backwards on a tree branch. It is called “The Persistence of Memory.” I am neither an art scholar nor an aficionado, and I apparently can’t tell good art from bad (because I’d never pay what some people pay for so-called “art”), so I’m not sure what this painting has to do with memory. But it does cause me to pause and think about something.
We all know that even on a hot Georgia summer day, clocks just don’t bend or melt, nor do they assume the positions as we see them in Dali’s painting. But stop for a moment at the beginning of today and this work week and ponder these kind of questions: what might this painting it be saying about time? What happens to time? Where does it go? Time flies, time melts away, time disintegrates, things fall apart. You may not like Dali’s painting, but you cannot help but think about it. How do you feel about time and life?
Just yesterday my wife said to me, “Do you ever find it hard to believe we’ve lived as long as we have?” My answer was a bit painful, but honest: “Yes, I sure do!” You see, we are both in our 60’s now. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t imagine being in my 20’s, let alone 60! Why, even when I turned 50 I could not imagine being 60! Where does the time go? In the “spent” pile, and you can’t dig it back out and spend it again. As the clocks in the painting infer, it melts away and we are left with wrinkled skin, failing hearing and eyesight, less strength even as our bones get more brittle.
That could be cause for great consternation were it not for one thing: with each passing day, or more precisely, with each tick of the clock, I am that much closer to home and my father/Father. I am that much closer to talking with Daniel, Abraham, Jeremiah, Peter, Mary, Esther…and my Jesus. I’ve never met anyone who died for me before. When the full realization of Who stands before me strikes me, how will I feel? Perhaps I’ll melt like the clock in the picture and fall on my face as though dead. But, if I understand Scripture and what it implies, I won’t be there for long. Just as the Father in the Prodigal Son ran to meet his son as he returned home, so, I believe, the Father will run to greet me, to lift me up off the ground, put His robe on me and welcome me home.
Were it not for that, the fleeting of time would be something to fear. But with that scene from the story of the Prodigal firmly implanted in my mind, the fleeting of time becomes nothing more than a countdown to a long awaited place in the Father’s home.
What will you do with your time this week?
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
PRAYER: Lord, I don’t know how much more time I have here. That is in your hands and only you know the answer. But I pray that you will help me to live it well! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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