Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Where did the Time Go?

Psalms 90:10  The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

When I was young, on my birthday we would read a children’s book about a farmer who went to the fair with his young boy on his birthday.  As I remember the book, the farmer said, “Today is my birthday, lucky me!”  Now that is the way I remember the story, but you will have to forgive me if I have gotten it wrong.  Today is my birthday and I have reached the stage where sometimes I forget.  I have reached Moses minimum “old age” of 70.  He is the one who wrote this Psalm.

When we are young we relish the idea of having birthdays so that we can grow up and be adults with adult privileges.  We tend to forget about the adult responsibilities like paying the bills.  When we are young we think we will really amount to something and we have great plans.  If you are like me, you are still trying to figure out what you are going to be when you grow up.  Our great plans tend to get put on hold so we can tend to life and all that it entails. 

I have seen a lot of changes in my life time.  When I was young, I was told to stand and respect my elders.  I was told that with old age came wisdom.  I was told to listen and not speak in the presence of those who were older.  Now that I am older, I am told that I am old fashioned and not “with it.”  I have to be careful not to discourage the young, so now I wait on them and listen to them.  If old age brings wisdom, at some point it passed me and King Solomon (1 Kings 11:4) and the friends of Job who were older than his father (Job 15:10) by.

Those who live long lives in the Bible seem to think that life is a struggle.  Moses says our lives are short and filled with labor and sorrow.  When Jacob was introducing himself to Pharaoh at 130 years of age, he said that his days were few and evil.  I think he meant few and hard.  Moses and Jacob seem to imply that if this life is all there is, it doesn’t amount to much.  I would tend to agree with them.

I feel that the Lord blessed me by putting me into the best country at the best time that history has had to offer.  He put me into a family that believed the Bible was the inspired Word of God.  Childhood diseases that people used to fear have been all but eliminated.  The country has had its ups and downs economically but for the most part we in the Unites States have lived in prosperous times in the last 70 years.  But in spite of all that, I don’t look forward to turning 70 because that makes 80 seem that much closer.  And apart from the Lord’s return, death seems that much more imminent.  And frankly, I don’t look forward to death. 

What I do look forward to is what comes after death.  I have prepared for that day.  I have believed God when He said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved  (Acts 16:31.”  This life may not be much, but the next one has a mansion.  There is a place in that mansion for me.  One of the joys of being there will be to meet some who heard the Gospel and believed it when I preached the Good News to them.  One of the great disappointments will be to know that there were many to whom we preached and for whom we prayed that will not be there.  Of course, the real attraction of that mansion will be the Lord Jesus “Who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20).” 

I would not want to live my life over, I would likely make all the same mistakes I made the first time and maybe more.  However, I do not look forward to reaching an age where I need care rather than giving care.  But I am glad that I didn’t waste my life trying to build a mansion down here when I would only be able to enjoy it for a few feeble years.  I am glad that the Lord made sure that my life which doesn’t amount to much was not wasted doing that which amounts to nothing.

My birthday will be a time of reflection.  I will wish that life wasn’t so short and that I had been a better servant to the Lord., a better husband to my wife, a better father to my children, and a better friend to my friends.   But my birthday will be happy because I know where I am going when the Lord calls me home.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 30, 2013

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