Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

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Time—The Ageless Riddle

Editorial by Stephen S. Lee

“Daddy, I have a riddle for you,” my younger son gleefully declared. “What goes up but never comes down?”

Before I could muster a response, he quipped with playful mischief, “Your age.”

If, like me, you resist the inevitability of aging, it might be a subtle sign that you’re already on that journey, as the young eagerly anticipate the swift passage of time.

The 96-year-old elder at my church, a figure I deeply admire, often cautions me with a friendly admonition, “Pastor Lee, don’t you dare grow old.” Despite my sincere attempts to heed his advice, I find the relentless march of time undefeated.

In our bustling society, the 86,400 seconds gifted to us each day for spending and investing often feel inadequately fleeting. Imagine, though, if God were to grant an extension—a 25th hour or a 13th month. How would we choose to shape our lives differently?

We find inspiration in Scripture, as demonstrated by Joshua, who seized extra time when the sun stood still, ensuring victory over his enemies (Joshua 10:13). Similarly, Caleb, in his seasoned wisdom, boldly requested the mountain promised by the Lord, trusting in divine strength (Joshua 14:12). On the flip side, Hezekiah, who received an additional 15 years of life, did not make the most judicious use of his time.

While time remains an unwavering force, unyielding and irreversible since the days of Joshua and Hezekiah, our agency lies in how we invest this precious commodity.

Reflecting on C. S. Lewis’ timeless wisdom, “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is” (The Screwtape Letters, number 25), how do you envision God shaping your future? The New Jersey Conference is embarking on a significant four-year initiative, commencing with, “It’s Time, Newark!” Our plea extends to you, urging your involvement in reaching this great city for the Lord. Together, let us serve the God who reigns over all, even the intricacies of time.

Stephen S. Lee serves as the president of the New Jersey Conference.

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