The Hourglass Perspective

An hourglass is one of the most captivating gadgets. It gives us a picture of something that is constant, intangible, and unstoppable.  Each grain of sand passes,from the upper to lower chamber signifying the passage oftime.  The hourglass captures the truth that our time left on this earth is continually decreasing.

We all have an unseen hourglass representing our life. On the day our life began, the upper chamber was full of countless grains of sand and the lower chamber was empty. As you read these words, there is some sand left in the upper chamber but much is already resting on the bottom.  Only God knows how many grains of sand are left.

In everyday life, most of us have difficulty keeping the hourglass in mind. We feel like there will be an unending supply of sand. There is a sense that we can focus on paying the bills and being successful now and concentrate on growing relationships with loved ones and serving the Lord later. What if the one who comes to “steal, kill, and destroy” is the source of the lie that there will always be a next time? What if this is part of a plan to keep us from ever getting around to the things that matter most?

We have a family friend who works as a nurse in an oncology ward and regularly spends time with those who are terminally ill.  While she was on retreat at Sonrise she remarked, “This is what people say when they know they don’t have much time left.  They tell me to spend time with my family, cherish my kids, and love my husband.  They know what matters so they tell me how I should live.”  These patients see the upper chamber of their hourglass is almost empty. They have a firm grasp on the fact that each person’s time is limited and precious.

Psalm 139:16 declares: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” God has given us a set number of days to live. We have one set of opportunities and choices. Some have passed us by and some are still before us. We can invest our time in loving God, cherishing our families, and seeking first His Kingdom… or we can get around to that later. How will you invest the time you have been given? The sand is falling.

Do you not say,
‘Four months more and then the harvest’?
I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!
They are ripe for harvest.
Even now the reaper draws his wages,
even now he harvests the crop for eternal life.
( John 4:35-36)

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