Jesus told a parable of a rich man who had an abundant crop, and seeing that it provided so much promise, tore down his old barns and had bigger ones built (Luke 12:16-21). The rich man was looking forward to putting Solomon’s maxim from Ecclesiastes 8:15 into practice. He was going to “to eat and drink and be glad.” What the man failed to remember was his own mortality, and as Robert Burns so aptly put it, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men Gang aft agley (or more simply plans go awry). Jesus states this clearly when He relates – “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’(vs 20).”
Almost exactly a year before her passing, my wife Dianne, posted the following reflection on her blog:
The last few days i have written about some of the problems of my situation, but i have discovered there are some unexpected blessings too.
Having a time limit makes my relationship with God more real. I cant afford to be lax with my conscience, put things off, bury my anger etc. I have an approaching appointment with my Lord when accounts will be closed and i have to stand before him and answer for my achievements, my mistakes, my decisions and the level of sin in my life. I cannot afford to harbour resentments, or allow myself to ignore any sin or hurt.
This is a good thing, it keeps me close to God, constantly on guard of my tongue and my actions. Really where we all should be daily.
Perhaps we could all benefit from remembering that none of us know when we could be keeping that appointment, and live as if it is fast approaching, keeping ourselves close.
Ecc 9:12 moreover no one knows when their hour will come.
What a great reminder to each of us to be diligent in our walk with God and our relationships with our fellows! Jesus said that the two great commandments were to love God, and love our neighbours. To do so, isn’t about “us” but “them.” We need to avoid the eat, drink and be merry attitude and work on those important relationships. We need to seek integrity in all things, and give thanks and praise daily for what we have been blessed with.
Remember the only “hour” we have to for sure to do this in is NOW.