“Slipping, slipping, into the future….” You might know song? Steve Miller band penned these words in their hit song, “Fly Like an Eagle.” Anyone of some age looks back on his life and finds those moments when he should’ve, could’ve or would’ve…but didn’t. Regret is inevitable for all of us since none has any knowledge of the future. We do the best we can at the moment: assimilating all the facts, weighing the options and then making a decision. This, or something like it, is our typical process based on our incomplete (or rather, no) knowledge of the future.
But, what if we knew?
Robert Heinlein told us the short story of Professor Pinero’s machine that predicted a person’s death date ahead of time: creepy stuff. In all cases but one, no one knows. Only hindsight is 20-20; to the rest of it, we are utterly blind. For most of our lives, this is a tension we live with; we have to. There is one future event common to all mankind known to all mankind for which we can prepare: The Judgment. Richard Baxter gives us reason #17 why none should delay to put down their trifles for eternal glory:
Consider, that your very time which you lose by these delays [in coming to Jesus Christ], is an inconceivable loss. When time is gone, what would you then give for one of those years, or days, or hours, which you now foolishly trifle away? O wretched sinners, are there so many thousand souls in hell that would give a world, if they had it, for one of your days; and yet can you afford to throw them away in worldliness and sensuality, loitering delays? I tell you, time is better worth than all the wealth and honors of the world. The day is coming when you will value time: when it is gone you will know what a blessing you made light of.
A great coup is at the same time a great tragedy: that one might waste his time all his time and miss his eternal blessed time spending it instead in perpetual just punishment. In the end, there are only two kinds of people: the prepared and the unprepared. Which one are you?