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Do It Now!

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what will come (in) a day.” – Proverbs 27:1

The shocking news of a Facebook friend who now has been suddenly immobilized by an aggressive case of ALS made me think about the time when I began to write my dissertation back in the fall of 2009. I was concerned that I might not survive an upcoming medical procedure. That’s what propelled me to take 200 pages’ worth of material in my head and put it down in writing. Let my professor sort it out and clean it up, if I don’t survive! I had never written anything longer than 20 pages before (dividing it into 5 chapters made it easier to conceptualize), but the thought that all of that material in my head might be lost pushed me to get that rough draft done.

Even the first 250 words of this piece were written in a few spare moments to make sure I did not forget them or get distracted by some other need of the day. Some uses of our time are chronos (New Testament Greek for time that can be measured by a clock), but some are kairos (the right time to do this or that). When it’s time to act, we must not let it pass.

I dimly remember the story of a boss who sent out a memo to his employees: “Do it now!” He intended the memo to inspire his workers to get their work done. In the next 2 days, however, two of his employees eloped, one employee asked for a raise, and one left to pursue a career in Hollywood!

When writing, I need to remind myself: Press the Save button! Don’t delay. Who knows whether the power will go out, or you may accidentally kick the power button and shut everything down?

When writing to my friend, I told him that already, in a flash, he has taught the rest of us to stop whining about life, and be grateful! I believe that being grateful includes the way we use what we have been given. We don’t have endless time, not here on earth at least, so we’d better make the most of what we do have, so that we can rejoice when we finally do have endless time.

All this also sends an urgent reminder to those who have been meaning to get right with God, but have never done so. Years ago, I remember a series of commercials where a person has a near-death experience, and you hear the person say, “Oh, no! Who’s going to take care of my loved ones?” Then the person comes back and says, “I got another chance – a chance to do those things I always meant to do, but never did them.” As I have said when preaching numerous funerals, there comes a time when it’s too late to take out insurance, to write out a will, and to be reconciled to God. We cannot go back and undo what we failed to do in this life.

Placing our faith in what Christ has done to take away our sins is what we must do now, not at some nebulous time in the future that may or may not come. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “Behold, now is the acceptable kairos; behold, now is the day of salvation.”