Vol.XIX No.II Pg.1
April 1982

Tempus Fugit

Robert F. Turner

One need not know Latin to know "time flies;" but awareness of its fleeting nature seems reserved for the older. So we were intrigued by a teaching method introduced into a young people's class in Arkansas. The instructor asked the students to say to themselves, "I am now 20 years older" — and then try to imagine where I will live, how I will look, what will be my circumstances.

After the first wave of foolishness wears away, and the class begins to think as realistically as possible, the teacher leads them to ask', "What kind of wife or husband I want," or, "Will I be capable of handling a good job?" Obviously the youngsters cannot be "matured" instantaneously, but with proper guidance they can get a glimpse of what lays ahead. And when attitudes seem right, the teacher begins to inquire about spiritual goals and relate high ideals, principles of Christ, to the good life here, and to the life hereafter. How do you want your children to behave, and how can you guide them to know what you know? Skillful use of this tactic can produce useful introspection — and seeing ourselves is a tremendous step toward self-improvement. Future time can be better realized by comparing it to past time. Looking back, 5 years seems very brief; yet the future 5 years have exactly the same number of hours: only then we will be ___ years old; and how better prepared to meet our Maker?

I remember telling a girl who was not particularly enthusiastic about finishing school: "Five years from now you could be a widow with two small children to support." It seems ridiculous to youth — but Oh how real it can become, and Oh so soon.

"Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon thee. Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Eph. 5:14-16). "Redeeming the time" is "buying up the opportunity" in footnote. We only have NOW for certain, and what we do NOW will determine our future. So very soon NOW will be our past opportunity.