You know how a lot of people say that they perform best under pressure? Its the same people who routinely wait until the very last minute to begin a homework assignment - the habitual procrastinators. In college, I was often paired with these procrastinators on group projects and it absolutely drove me crazy. I couldn’t understand why they would wait until the last minute to start working on something when they had known about the assignment for weeks!
However, despite our productivity differences, I was always intrigued by the habitual procrastinator…. how they could all of the sudden switch gears and become incredibly productive and diligent at the very last minute. Somehow they always managed to get the assignment done. The urgency of the approaching deadline brought out a new side of them.
What is it about urgency that whips us into gear? It happens all the time. We never really care about flossing our teeth until the week before the dentist appointment… we leave the house a wreck until we get a text that friends are coming over…. we put off that oil change for months until that check engine light blinks on and then we scurry to the nearest Jiffy Lube praying that our engine is okay.
Urgency changes our priorities. And I think thats why Paul wrote this passage; to remind us of the approaching day of Jesus’s return.
"The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.”
What if we truly lived each day with that perspective? What if Paul is right and the day is almost here!? How different would your schedule look? What would change? What would take priority and what would take a back seat? What sins in your life would all of the sudden seem so empty and powerless? What wrongs would you seek to make right with others?
In reality, we know that this passage was written almost 2000 years ago, and its all too easy to become distracted by the day-to-day things of this world. Its easy to feel like the day of Jesus’s return is like that far away final exam. No need to prepare just yet, we have all semester. But the truth is that Jesus gave us an assignment the day that he ascended into heaven. He said “Go and make disciples of every nation" (John 28:18) and he said to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Romans 13:9 and Mark 12:30). Therefore the choice is ours.
Will we choose to set aside this assignment in exchange for other things, or will we wake up from our slumber and step into the armor of light? Life is not guaranteed for any of us. Life is a gift - let’s make the most of it with the time we have left.
Father we pray and ask that you would help us align our priorities. Teach us to follow your ways, to think as you think, and speak as you speak. Teach us to live life with an eternal perspective, believing that Jesus will return!! Teach us to number our days and give each one of them to you as an offering. Amen.
Author | Devon Radford