You have 41 days. That’s how much time is left until summer hits. Sure, it technically doesn’t start until about 3 weeks after that, but in our hearts and minds, once Memorial Day wraps, the summer season has (un)officially arrived.
The question is what we’re going to do with those 41 days. In a culture where our focus is continually shifted from the future to our present chaotic lives and then back to the unknown future, it’s easy to start counting down the days. We get so keyed into what’s coming that we start missing what’s in front of us. In difficult times, that may not seem like such a bad thing. But what if there are good moments we’re overlooking amidst the chaos, opportunities to pour into our family and friends slipping by without us even realizing it? I’m always intrigued whenever I read the story of King Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20. He knew exactly how much time he had left. After being told he was going to die of an illness, Hezekiah petitioned God to let him live. And God answered his request, granting him an additional 15 years. Now I’d imagine that, initially, it was probably a bit surreal to know exactly how much longer he was going to walk the earth. Maybe he did the math to see how many more meals he would eat, how old he’d be at his final birthday, or what year his kids would be in school when he finally breathed his last.
But after the shock wore off, I bet that his sense of purpose when he rolled out of bed each day was laser focused. Granted, he didn’t always make the wisest decisions throughout the rest of his reign (as the latter part of 2 Kings 20 reveals), but it’s cool to imagine the tenacity that he must have had for life when God let his game of life go into overtime. We can guess that his mantra from that point forward was probably somewhere along the lines of this quote…
“When you see how much time you have left, you tend to get serious about the time you have now.” ~ Reggie Joiner
This statement rings true in nearly every area of life: Home, work, marriage, our walk with Jesus, parenting, sports, etc. When we embrace an attitude that takes seriously the time given us, suddenly we see opportunities to influence others more clearly than ever. Conversations with nonChristian neighbors take on a greater importance. Backyard water balloon fights with our kids become sacred spaces to let them know how much we love them. Moments in the early hours of the morning spent curled up in our favorite chair with our Bible and a fresh cup of coffee aren’t just a discipline to endure but a chance to connect with the God who gave us that day to wake up to in the first place. Call it living opportunistically. Perhaps going into “Hezekiah Mode.” Or maybe just consider it seeing life through God’s eyes.
No matter what you call it, you still have 41 days left until summer hits. What if we as a church decided to approach these 6 weeks differently than ever before? What if we seized the opportunities God will present to us in these next 984 hours as a chance to respond to what the Holy Spirit is doing both in and through our lives and the lives of others? Spring will eventually go, and summer will eventually come. But Jesus is up to something big here, no matter what season it is. How will we respond? How we spend over the next 41 days will ultimately answer that question. So let’s do this, Ren.