There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven, a time to give birth and a time to die. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)
So I’m sitting in the airport in Orlando, Florida waiting for my plane to carry us back home to Raleigh. Cindi and I went to Okeechobee for my 40th class reunion. No, that’s not a typo. Yes, my 40th high school class reunion. And that’s the point of this Pastor’s Perspective. How quickly times passes in this life.
This is the first time I’ve ever gone to one of my class reunions. I’ve just never had much desire to go back and relive a time in my life when Jesus was not Lord of my life. But, I’m glad I did. Having never gone back for a class reunion, until this one, most of the people I saw I had not seen in literally 40 years!
You know in your mind that everyone is going to be different, and they were. Man, were they different! Many of them I simply would not have recognized had it not been for name tags. No amount of antiaging crème, no matter how many plastic surgeries, even a lifetime supply of Botox can’t stop the effects of the sin-curse. Hair turns grey, or turns lose. Waistlines expand. Age spots appear. Wrinkles develop. Age brings with it the four “B’s” disease: Balding, bulges, bunions, and bifocals. Let’s face it getting older is not for the faint of heart.
But, here’s the really weird part; many of them had not changed at all. I don’t mean physically. Like I said, there’s no stopping that train once it pulls out of the station. But, many of them were still living basically the same lives they were in high school, with lots of relational drama and a “living for the weekend” mentality. Many of them had been through traumatic circumstances and terrible losses. Some had inspiring stories of courage. And a few, too few had found Jesus.
The scripture verse above reminds us that there is a time to be born and a time to die. How much time there is between those two events is the great unknown. Most of us would like to think we’re going to live long, healthy lives. The reality is none of us know how long we will be on this earth. Nor do we know what all life will throw at us. Some of it will be hard. Hopefully much of it will be joyful. But, one thing is for sure, it will pass faster than we think.
This morning in our 30-day prayer emphasis, the text reminder read: “Father, fill my heart and church with a fresh anointing of Your presence.” I do pray that, for myself, and for Cross Culture Church. It is a work of God that I desire to see Him do in all of our lives; a fresh anointing that stirs our hearts for spiritual growth, and for the lost around us.
It is my belief that God desires to do a work like that in the lives of all of us who profess Jesus as our Savior. But, I also believe it requires us to desire such a work in our hearts, and that we realize that time waits for no one. It passes faster than we can believe. Do you desire a true movement of God in your life personally, and in His church? Are you willing to pray: “Father, I am Yours. All that I am, all that I have, however long that I have, I give it to You. Place Your anointing upon me and upon Cross Culture Church. Use us to expand Your Kingdom on earth, until you call us home to heaven.”
I have no idea whether I will make another high school class reunion. A surprising number of people had passed away before our 40th. But, I do know one reunion that I will attend, the reunion of all followers of Jesus in heaven. Going home to Okeechobee was fun. Coming home to Raleigh is great. But when our time here is done, going home to Heaven will be the best. But, like the song says, “I’m not home yet.” Let’s live for Jesus in a world that so badly needs Him, before we run out of time.
Dr. J. Clay Stevens is Lead Pastor of Cross Culture Church in Raleigh, NC. He is author of the book I Get It! Discovering How To Really live In The Promises Of God. His life mission statement is: "To take people from where they are to where God wants them to be."