It is hard to believe that March is here! I struggle at best to sense the significance and fragileness of time. It just seems to get away from me most of the time. It seems that there just is never enough of it to go around. I always seem to be craving for more. If I just had more time I would be able to……….well we can all fill in that blank. You never really know what the next minute or second will bring to your life. I received a phone call at 7:30 am on Saturday morning, February 19, that my friend was in the hospital diagnosed with a brain bleed and acute leukemia. By 7:20 pm later that evening he was dead. My life has been altered in a way I could never have anticipated nor imagined. Thank God I saw him on Friday at lunch. Little did I know it would be the last lunch I would have with him. It was a good use of my time on that Friday. I will never forget that lunch with him and other friends that have known one another and shared in ministry together for over 30 years. At least for those moments time was well spent in something with lasting significance. It was the first time we had all been together in years. I would have hated to have lived with not being at that lunch because I was too busy doing something else! Little did any of us know how important that lunch would become in our lives with our friend.
We struggle so to know what we should do with the time we have. I wonder if we ever fully realize how limited it all is. We act sometimes as though we will live forever and we become very sloppy in our utilization of the time we have. We become so pre-occupied with activities and events that carry little meaning. We sacrifice time with family, friends, and those we love the most for ridiculous meetings that mean nothing and make no difference to anyone or anything in the world. Oftentimes we over schedule ourselves and we end up tired and worn out so that even the time we spend with those we love is not quality time. We measure our lives by how much we do and how busy we are. It is the curse of a culture that places all the wrong values in all the wrong things. As I think about my time with my friend I wish that I would have spent more time with him. I wish we would have had more long lunches together. I wish I would have created more time to be with him. I wish………..
As we approach Ash Wednesday part of what we will be saying on that sacred evening is that we are mortal creatures. As mortal creatures we only have so much time. There is a deadline for us all and none of us know when that is. For my friend it was 52 years and 11 months and 3 weeks. Yesterday he would have been 53. Lent is a time of taking honest stock of where we are in our lives related to the deadline we all someday will face. I want to invite each of you to join me in this journey of the Lenten pilgrimage. During out time together we will be exploring what it means to soulfully live. A huge piece of such an exploration will be to examine how we are living the time we have. I hope you will join me in this journey. It is time to take to an honest look at who we are in light of God’s love. It is time!
I will see you on the road,