Time. Tom Carpenter’s second post before he passed away speaks of a lesson learned about time, and his words remind us of Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die
My favorite verse from that passage is (v4):
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Life and time are both precious! However, our understanding of the value of time greatly increases when we’re grieving while a loved one is dying of a terminal illness. It stems from the emotional effort and energy of serving and attending to them, watching…and waiting…and praying. Intently listening to their every move and words…while trying to remain strong.
The grieving heart beats at a different pace than the rest of the world. Time slows or it seems that you’re in a different dimension altogether. Meanwhile, those in their normal routine keep buzzing around, moving through life at the hurried American pace. Attempting to go back and forth between these two worlds is exhausting. Work emails, text messages, and social media notifications come in, but answering them is like typing each character with a heavy hammer…so the messages pile up out of necessity. There will be time to respond later.
And yet, being the one actually with the terminal illness, facing death and eternity, takes the understanding of time to a completely different level. This is where their last words hold profound meaning. With some of Tom’s last words below you can feel his thankfulness for life and the time he was given.
The reality is we all have a terminal illness called sin, but there is Hope. Life has meaning, even in our suffering, because of the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s the only way. He entered time, lived a perfect life, and suffered and died for sinners like us. Then He rose again victorious over death so that those who believe in Him will have eternal life. A future where there is no more sin, suffering, or death, only time… Time to enjoy being in the presence of God forever.
Please consider Tom Carpenter’s words as time well spent, and may they be a great reminder to not waste our life, but to be good stewards of the time God has given.
For we are wonderfully and fearfully made. God knit us together in the midst of our mother’s womb. God knew the unique blend of our individual DNA. God knew everything about us before we were ever even thought of. I am thankful God allowed me to be born.
I am also thankful for the time God has blessed me with. Time, however, is something I have often squandered in my life. There have been so many instances where I have not used time wisely. For the most part, I took time, a precious gift of God and used it selfishly to my own frivolous ends and purposes. God forgive me. None of us know how much time God will give us. What I have often failed to realize is that it is not my time at all. Time, like everything in this life, belongs to God. Of course, God is mindful of the time we must dedicate to our families and our livelihoods. God does not begrudge us time to take pleasure in this life He gives us.
Ultimately, however, we must realize that time in the here and now is finite. So let us spend more time with God. Then, however many seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years God may give us, that time will be blessed and not wasted.
If you missed the first post remembering Tom, you may find it here.