This weekend I got to spend some time with my friend, Brie, who just spent a month in Kenya. She had some pretty incredible adventures and encounters that have powerfully affected her.
One thing that she was surprised at was how busy she was the whole time. She felt the pressure of going places, seeing people, and doing things, and only four weeks to make it all happen. There was an urgency in her plans that was counter to the culture and her expectations. "I wanted to just sit, and listen to people, and I couldn't really do that," she said. Another month's worth of time would have helped, and six months would have put everything at a much easier pace.
And it made me think of Jesus... He had three years of ministry, to accomplish what he came to do. Three years seems like plenty of time, until I think about what his mission was: to proclaim good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, and release prisoners from darkness. He taught, healed, trained, fed, served, rebuked, prayed, and loved people everywhere and all the time. He was betrayed, put on trial, beaten, mocked, crucified, and buried. He suffered, died, came back to life, taught, forgave, and commissioned. It was pretty much a non-stop ride! Plus, consider this: He came from outside of time - he was the Everlasting Father, the God of Eternity! And he gave up that freedom to cram himself into our calendar and our time frame, limiting himself to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and three years of intentional ministry. I'm sure he felt it - the ticking by of the minutes, the passing of days... I wonder if he ever longed for time to stand still or slow down... I bet he was burdened with the brevity of time around him.
Sometimes my focus wanders, my intention slips, my mission slows down. I get familiar and comfortable, and I forget that time is short. I don't know how long I am supposed to stay in Fort Wayne, I don't know how long my life will be, and I don't know how long I will get to be in relationship with the precious people in this community. But I know it isn't forever. Brenda Neuenschwander once said that we only have a window of opportunity, and since we don't know how big the window is, we must make the most of every opportunity. I don't want a moment to be wasted... I want this day to count for eternity.