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The Secret to Life

James Taylor said that the secret to life is enjoying the passage of time. He felt that any fool can do it; there ain’t nothing to it (James Taylor, Secret ‘O Life). I’m not sure if I agree that there’s really nothing to it, but I do believe that there is something very important in this life to appreciating the meaning of time and discovering how to fully enjoy it.

Time is something we experience on this universe. Happiness has something todo with connecting to the eternal and acknowledging that time is temporal. Jesuscame to offer life and offer it more abundantly (John 10:10), that abundant lifeis eternal life. Our life on this earth is only abundant when we understand howit relates to eternity.

I believe the concept of time in heaven is very distinct from what we experienceon earth. I don’t think our loved ones could be happy in heaven if theywere still trapped by time, ticking off the seconds until the ones they loveare out of their pain. I believe that even if they can see us living our lives,they take it in with a knowledge we don’t possess, and see our experienceof time with divinely inspired eyes.

So what is the secret to enjoying the passage of time? Haven’t the happiesttimes in your life been when you’ve become unconscious of time? That wasa little taste of heaven. How long is ten minutes when you are waiting in theDoctor’s office to find out the diagnosis after your biopsy? How long isa toothache, or a traffic jam? It was probably at the moments that you were mostunaware of the passage of time that you have enjoyed the most. That’s whenyou were experiencing a taste of eternity. It could have been as simple as enjoyingan evening of rich conversation with an old friend. Perhaps it was the momentsyou spent on the phone with your first love.

You can either look at your life as a never ending coach flight across the Atlanticseated near the restroom, or you can sit back and begin a meaningful conversationwith the young man sitting to your left. What you do with your time makes allthe difference. God knows there is really something to it, that’s why hegave us His Word—the Bible to help us navigate the passage of time rightinto an eternity in His presence.

We were not made for time, but for eternity. So, yes James Taylor, the secretof life is enjoying the passage of time. And how do you do that? It’s reallyquite difficult, but true that any fool can do it. You enjoy the passage of timemost fully when you can gain an eternal perspective. Even if you are living rightin the middle of the most difficult moments of time you have ever experienced,you can enjoy it by remembering you are just passing through.

Time is not eternity. God has set limits on our suffering. He has given us atimed test; it is our lives. We can see our whole existence as a test of whetherwe learn the secret to life. Matthew 6:19, 20 says, Do not store up for yourselvestreasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in andsteal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and trustdo not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Use your timestoring up heavenly treasures and you will have learned the secret of life.


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