I was driving home from work one day last week, and the thought hit me – in all probability my Dad will die before me. This sobered me. I began to cry as I couldn’t imagine my life without my dad in it. My thoughts turned to times when I had been angry with my dad and abruptly ended a conversation or said words that were hurtful. I didn’t immediately turn and apologize as I knew time would help me calm down and I could go to him later and restore things. How foolish is that?! I was living under the assumption that tomorrow is guaranteed to him and me. While thinking of this, I wanted to call and talk to him, tell him I love him and appreciate him. Why? All of a sudden, the reality that time is fleeting hit me. Urgency set in. See, I had been born into this world and my dad was already in existence. Since he has been here my whole life, it is natural to assume that he will continue to be. I know death is real, I was a pallbearer at my Grandmother’s funeral, I saw my dad weep in my Maw-Maw’s back yard the day after his mother’s funeral. The truth is though, we just don’t look at those we love and think, “One day they won’t be here.”
What’s this got to do with the price of rice in China? Nothing, but it does have something to do with the Christian and the way we live. There was a fire in the early church, a burning sense of urgency that the Messiah would return any day to finalize His kingdom. These people had seen the Messiah live, die, and rise again. They were excited! Things were changing, creation was being restored!! God didn’t promise a speedy return, though. As the generations came they were told of the truth of Jesus. Sure, He is believed in, but we have lost our urgency for His return. We were born into a time when people lived and died waiting for his coming and we just naturally figure the same will happen to us. This death is expected to come way in the future, because no one dies today or tomorrow, we plan for death in a ripe old age – right?
Before we were born, Christ had already accomplished redemption; people had anticipated His return for thousands of years. It’s even more entrenched for those of us where were raised in Christianity. We can’t imagine a time when we weren’t told that Jesus could come any day. Somehow we have interpreted it and say, “yes, He COULD come, but He WON’T come yet.” So we evangelize with no urgency. We press on to holiness and prepare for His return with no urgency.
After all, why should we be excited about it when there’s always tomorrow – right?