Summary: A sermon presented in story format that stresses the importance of witnessing for Christ even in times when we can’t see a result. (Ficticious Story)
Just One More Hour to Live
by Pastor Jim May
All alone, in a dark, quiet room of a hospital a patient laid upon the bed from which he would never arise again. He was dying of a dreaded disease that had wracked his body with pain and sapped his energy so that he had not even the strength to lift a finger. All hope for the future was gone now. The doctors, nurses and hospital personnel had done all they could do. Now it was only a matter of time.
Time – the one commodity of life that we all take so much for granted when we have it. But time was not this man’s friend anymore. Time had become his enemy.
Time had passed so quickly in years gone by. He often tried to remember many of the days that he had spent so frivolously, but the medication and the suffering of recent weeks had erased those memories. He could only bring himself to remember just a few of the good days and some of the bad days as well.
Now all that remained of time for this poor soul was one more hour. That was all the doctors had given him to live.
There, on the wall, hung his enemy; and at the same time, his greatest friend. It was a clock that just hung there in almost mute silence, glaring down upon him, gloating over its power to end his life.
Tic-Toc; Tic-Toc was the only sound it made as it hung there doing what it had always done before. The old man could hardly see it anymore, but he was keenly aware that it was there, steadily moving to the end of the hour and the end of his life.
He could see that second hand as it so quickly made its journey around the circle, one second at a time.
As he looked at that second hand moving along, he was reminded of the swiftness of the passing of time when we are busy, active and carefree. How many seconds, minutes, hours and days had he wasted in riotous living? How much of his life counted for nothing. His wife and children were gone. His riotous living had driven them far from him and there was no one left to care whether he lived or died, no one at all.
He knew that the second hand on that clock was going on, and would continue to go on, long after his time on earth had ended. He stared at it, concentrating as hard as he could, hoping that somehow, through wishful thinking and the power of his mind, that he could just slow that second hand just a little to gain a few extra seconds, but it was to no avail. The seconds just steadily ticked away. Around and around it went, and with each trip around he knew that there was one minute less for life to be his.
Those minutes were passing all too quickly. He began to remember the wasted minutes around the water cooler at work. Those wasted minutes when he sat at his desk just waiting impatiently for the quitting bell to ring so he could rush off to continue doing what he wanted to do. Oh, if only he could redeem those minutes now! How much more could he make of his life if he could only bring back those wasted minutes. But it was impossible to do. He knew first hand what that old saying meant, “Time waits for no man.” His minutes and seconds were passing away one by one, by one - the clock kept on ticking.
He had been given only one more hour, and now it was half over. He could feel the cold hand of death as it began to grip his body. His limbs were as heavy as lead weights and he could move them no more. He could barely have the strength to gasp for one more breath, and yet his mind remained fixed upon that clock, watching as his time drew nearer and nearer.
As he watched the second hand go around, and the minute hand slowly, but surely moved around the face of the clock, he noticed that, in the background, that hour hand was ever so slowly moving onward. That was the one he feared the most, for it was that hour hand that would show the final hour of his life as it came to an end.
He thought about that hour hand and it reminded him of the fact that we often forget that the seconds and minutes are the building blocks of the hours of our life. We are caught up in the rat race of life, like the fast moving of the second hand. Then we see the days go by one by one, like the minutes that are driven and burned away one at a time. We often forget of the passing hour hand because it moves so slowly that sometimes it’s almost imperceptible. Yet it is moving.