Vol.XVIII No.IX Pg.6
November 1981

Musing About Time

Robert F. Turner

Time has no character of its own. It is neither good nor evil. It is simply the medium in which both good and evil work. Time relentlessly aims to change all things.

Time covers the gnarled oak tree with lichens; the brick wall with ivy. Time lays a carpet of green grass and multicolored flowers over the ugly scar of a grave. It dulls the pain of life's losses. It closes wounds and heals infirmity. It diminishes the magnitude of an insult; the significance of an oversight. It gradually veils ugliness.

Time — and God's word at work in man — transforms the new Christian. We first see him weak and flawed of character. Day by day, little by little, from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18), he is transformed into beauty of God's own character (image).

Time brings the wisdom of experience to replace the foolishness of youth. Time dispels silliness, and reason prevails.

BUT be not deceived. Time is not all benevolent. It has a black side.

Time eventually ages and rots the old oak, and crumbles the wall covered with ivy. Time brings us again to the grave site covered with flowers to open another grave, and water the grass with our tears. Time softens yesterdays hurt but swiftly transports us to the next crisis with its own sorrow.

As time brings wisdom to youth, it also mars youth's beauty with the decay of old age. Time etches the face with wrinkles, streaks the hair with gray, and bends the back. Time saps the strength of youth; time blunts youth's ardor, zeal, and idealism.

Time hardens the heart. As the sun turns clay into brick, so time makes man immune to appeals which once "almost persuaded" him. Time allows him to do freely things his conscience at one time would not permit.

The same "day by day" that saw a man transformed into God's image, witnesses another weak man grow even weaker. In time he must be taught again what he once knew (Heb. 5:12). Time leads him to "crucify afresh" his Lord, and stand where it is not possible to repent (Heb. 6:6).

Nevertheless remember, time is limited in power. Time cannot cover sin. A thousand years later, sin is as real, as ugly, as eternally damning as the moment it was committed. Time does not touch it. And time does not make obedience easier. A "convenient season" — an easy time — is a deceptive illusion. It will never be easy to deny self and bear your cross (Mt. 16:24). Time does not change the truth. The terms of salvation are the same today as on Pentecost. Refuse to listen, but time will not change the demands of truth. That timeless truth will meet you in the judgment.

Redeem the time (Eph. 5:16 Col. 4:5). Buy it up. Make good use of it. It is time to wake up Rom. 13:11) and work in an accepted time (2 Cor. 6:2).

Joe Fitch, 6326 Peacepipe, San Antonio, TX.