Friday, October 19, 2012

Ten Minutes to a Better Day - and a Better Life

Eph 5:16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
Time is precious. Some say, “Time is money.” Like money, one can and must manage time carefully. Like each dollar, each minute can only be spent on one thing. Like currency, time that is lost is gone. Like money, two people rarely have the same amount of time on this earth. People speak of killing time, having time on their hands, making up for lost time, and time running out. Time is thought to heal all wounds. TV viewers have heard for years, "Like sands through the hourglass... so are the Days of Our Lives."
On April 1 (is there some irony here?) in 2010 I began my return home from a mission trip to South Africa. I was eager to get back in time to see our daughter's three school performances. I flew from Cape Town to Johannesburg, South Africa, on South African Airways. The flight left about 45 minutes late, due to previous weather delays. Once we deplaned, I sped eagerly to the other terminal to catch my overseas Delta flight to Atlanta. It was to leave at 8:20 p.m., and I was at the ticket counter at 7:30. Plenty of time, right? Wrong! Boarding had ended just ten minutes earlier. The woman at the Delta desk smiled kindly and politely while shaking her head and saying, “No!”
She sent me to “customer service” (is there more irony here?). There I was offered a new ticket, for the same flight, 24 hours later! Of course, there would be a $250 fee for this adjustment. Perhaps the other airline, South African, would pay the penalty, since it was their plan that was late. They might book me on their own overseas flight, or … or …
The South African agent was most gracious and apologetic. Their U.S. flights would have taken me all over the place, and I would not have arrived at my final destination any earlier than Delta’s next-night flight. But they would put me in a first-class hotel overnight and provide three lavish meals. They would also get me a Delta ticket and cover the $250 fee.
My frustration turned to peace, as I realized that this was out of my control. I was in God’s hands. Certainly all was not lost; I would see Charissa’s university program only twice instead of three times. I needed a day’s rest. Of course, I did not need the calories from the three meals, but how could I refuse this obvious gift of God’s providence? I ate well!
It was just ten minutes, but that short time affected the next twenty-four hours. It made me wonder: “What could I do in any ten-minute period that would impact the long future, or even the rest of this particular day?” I could make a phone call or write a card. I could contact a non Christian or an inactive one. I could memorize one Bible verse. I could pray for my wife and children.
Rom 13:11-12 says, Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Say, do you have ten minutes?
Cory Collins

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