Summary: We are all using time as me move toward our end in this world. How we use that time is important.
New Year’s Eve
Sermon: “A Go’en A’ Fishen” Rev. D. Anderson
On this New Year’s Eve of 1998, let’s look at what’s coming down the pike for us, and see what that has to do with how we use our time. From Revelation 22:12-14:
12. "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. These are Your Words, Lord Christ, sanctify us in your Word, that we might be profitable within time as we use time. Amen.
An American author in the 1800’s and protestor against
slavery at that time, Henry David Thoreau, wrote a sentence that stuck with me... and I think of it often. He said, “Time is but the sea I go a’ fishing on.”
Time is but the sea I go a’ fishing on.
Now I think that this is a pretty profound statement. When Tom and Linda get up at 5:30 in the morning to do some fishing. They have already carefully gone through their tackle. Their reals have been oiled and the line carefully checked. They gobble down their breakfast hardly tasting... whatever they ate! All they’re thinking about are the Walleye... the big, old, hard-fighting walleye....
The walleye are biting over at a sandbar near dead-center to the lake. Having left the house, driven for miles, they pull up to the boat landing, stop, grab their gear, and then sit down on a log and look at the beautiful water... and look.... and look.... and look at the water all day.
Do you buy that? If you do, I have a bridge I’m trying to sell.... No--they would not just look at the lovely water... not if they are on the hunt for walleye near the sandbar at the middle of the lake.
What really happened? Well they rushed their boat into the water. Grabbing their gear, they jumped into the boat, revved up the outboard motor, and zoomed out to where the walleye were said to be biting. For them, the water was a means to an end... a delivery system for what they sought to do, catch walleye.
Well, time for each one of us is much like the water was for Tom and Linda. It’s big... it’s expansive... and within it lies the hunt... the treasures.... All that for which we seek. The only question is: What are we seeking in the waters of time?
Let’s take this one step further. If I were to change this quote from Thoreau... if I were to change it in any way, instead of saying “Time is but the sea I go a’ fishing on,” I would have said, “Time is but the RIVER I go a’ fishing on.”
I like the word ‘river’ because it implies something moving... not static. And it’s moving only in one direction. It’s taking everything on its surface with it... and moving only in one direction.
A log might be floating on its surface... mindless and dead... and the river is taking it in only one direction. A little boy fishing from the old wooden boat is drifting on the river... and moving only in one direction.
Yes, we use time to pursue what is important to us, but as we do, time is also caring us all only in one direction....
Isaiah writes: “All men are like grass, and their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall...”
My friends, only the shallow and foolish do not consider the end of all things. The wise consider, and it molds their lives accordingly.
Henry Pascal, French mathematician and a man estimated
to have had one of the highest IQ’s of human history,
thought through very carefully the meaning of time. What he concluded is now called “Pascal’s wager.”
Pascal’s wager is basically a bet. Each person will wager or bet his life in one of two ways. Either one will bet that there is no God and become a god unto oneself. Or one will bet that there is a God and serve that God. One or the other, but not both.
Now Pascal knew that he too must place his wager. He also fully understood that no one could prove the existence of God. Furthermore, it was obvious to Pascal that faith in a God believed to be good must stand within the storms and cyclones of evil and tragedy. So what was he to do.
Pascal reasoned like this: Let’s say that there is no God, but that he, Pascal, lived his life in service to this God, often and continually denying himself the base pleasures of life. So he lives to be 75 years... he bet 75 years of his life, and, as it turns out, he lost because there was no God.