Devotional Thoughts

Dear Graduate, Time Flies!

This post by Chris Anderson comes from Gospel Meditations for Young Adults (Day 4: “Time Flies”).

I have vivid memories of high school and college. Talks, events, and even smells linger in my mind like they happened yesterday. They didn’t. I’m 52 now. The last of my four daughters is in college. Two are married. I’m a father in-law, and I’m almost a grandpa! That’s crazy to me. I feel young. But I’m not. Like my friend and mentor Michael Barrett jokes, “No one prays for me to have wisdom beyond my years anymore. They pray that I’ll be as wise as I ought to be for such an old man.”

Your first twenty years feel fairly measured, like the click-click-clicking of a roller coaster as you ascend the first hill—ever so slowly. But make no mistake, the rest of your ride is going to fly by you at Mach 3, in a blur of plunges and curves, all leading up to a sudden stop. It’s a blast, but it won’t last. Not long. That’s why Scripture repeatedly warns you about the brevity of your life. These biblical words are describing you:

  • Remember that my life is a breath. ( Job 7:7)
  • For my days pass away like smoke. (Psalm 102:3)
  • What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. ( James 4:14)
  • As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. (Psalm 103:15–16; see also Isaiah 40:6, 8 and 1 Peter 1:24–25)

One of my favorite gifts for young people when they reach milestones like graduation is John Piper’s little book Don’t Waste Your Life. If you haven’t yet read it, fix that. He argues against a life lived thoughtlessly, haphazardly, unintentionally. Most young people I know don’t mean to waste their lives. They don’t throw them away. But they scroll them away, spending countless hours on Snapchat and TikTok. (I’m a Facebook guy myself. I know. I’m old.) They game them away, getting better at video games than anyone should responsibly be. They binge-watch them away on Netflix. (Fun and frightening fact: You could spend eight months doing nothing but watching the new content Netflix added in 2017 alone.)

Most young people don’t mean to waste their lives, but they scroll them away…game them away…binge-watch them away.

All this screen time is worse than wasteful. It’s addicting; notice how you mindlessly reach for your phone every time you have a chance. It’s mind-altering; it corrodes your ability to focus on important tasks. And it’s entirely contrary to the example of Christ, Who during His youth devoted Himself to His Father’s business (Luke 2:49) and during His adulthood urged us to “work the works of him who sent me while it is day” because “night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).

Time flies. And once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. There’s no fountain of youth. There’s no DeLorean time machine. (Hat tip to the 80s.) There’s no Time-Turner. (Fist bump, Potterites.) Time spent is irretrievable. I have no doubt that my time is more than half gone. Per Psalm 90, I probably get about seventy years, maybe less. I’m nearing the end of my coaster ride. I want to “number my days” (Psalm 90:12). I want to “redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:16 KJV). I want to live “like I’m running out of time.” (I see you, Alexander.) Because I am. And so are you.

Let the gospel that redeemed you motivate you to redeem your time.

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Young people in the church today are experiencing unique social and spiritual challenges. And yet there is gospel hope, found in the Bible and Jesus Christ. Gospel Meditations for Young Adults is written for Christians in their teens and twenties, designed to encourage them to endure opposition, thrive in relationships, and keep turning toward the Lord. Each of the 31 devotional readings aims to inspire young adults with a vision of the deeply satisfying life that will be theirs when they resolve to know, love, and serve their Savior.

Post photo by Caleb Holden on Unsplash