THE TWENTIETH DAY OF MARCH IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND SIXTEEN.
Time is eternally slow, I thought, for so it seemed to me when I was the age my elementary grandchildren are today. School days dragged by and the number of years yet to be spent inside school walls was too depressing to calculate. Then I grew up and something very interesting happened. Time, which once crept slower than a snail, suddenly accelerated and soon was outpacing the eagles. Weeks flew, months blurred, and years changed numbers quicker than we could change the calendar.
Whether one experiences time as empty space to be filled or as an overloaded agenda desperately in need of trimming, one thing is sure. So long as we live, we cannot escape time, and its mere reality both imposes and implies certain responsibility. God calls us to faithfulness (Heb. 2:1; 3:12), but how can anyone be faithful for a lifetime? Jesus provides the answer, and he demonstrated it in his own life. “He was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in God’s house” (Heb. 3:2-5). How was Christ faithful? One day at a time.
The fact is that we all experience life on a single-day basis. Perhaps this reality is summed up best in the exhortation of Psalm 95:7-11: “O that today you would hear his voice! Harden not your hearts, as . . . when your fathers tested me.” The Psalmist remembers the unfaithful Israelite generation that had died in the wilderness 250-450 years earlier because they distrusted God. He urges his contemporaries not to imitate those ancestors, but to faithfully hear and obey God’s voice “today,” which for them was about 1,000 BC. A millenium later, the author of Hebrews repeats the admonition to his generation (Heb. 3:7-15; 4:1-10). The key word is still “today.” Now, 2,000 years after that, we read Hebrews and Psalms and repeat the same admonition to ourselves and to our generation. The day that matters is still “today.” How is one faithful to God for a lifetime? By being faithful each “today.” No matter the date, it’s the one day that counts.