Summary: The key to living a fulfilled life is the choice to live for God and to spend our energies blessing others.
Sermon for CATM - October 16, 2005 - “The Key to a Fulfilled Life”
Time. It hovers over our lives. It frames all that we do. Everything we can think of doing occurs in time. Thought occurs in time. The clock keeps ticking even as right now, for the first time perhaps in a while, we are all thinking about...time. What time is it? It’s around 3:30-something.
What time is it in your life? If your young it’s maybe 1 or 2 or 3 o’clock. If you’re my age and can count the hairs falling off your head every time to comb your hair, it’s maybe 7 PM. If you’re older it’s a later time. In this analogy midnight is end of the time we’ve been given.
We have at least three members of the Congregation...the babies of Maryellen, Ioulia and
Lisa...for whom time on this side of the womb hasn’t yet begun, yet it will in days or weeks or months.
What do you do with your time? How do you think of time? Do you only ever really think about time when you’re late getting somewhere? Do you only really think much about time when it’s about catching your favourite show on t.v.?
The Bible views time as that measurable space where things happen to people. There is, in God’s mind, a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. (Eccl. 3:2-8)
What...what kind of gift is time to us? What kind of responsibility do you and I have toward the time we’ve been given on earth...especially since none of us knows, really, how much time we have this side of heaven.
Our scripture today suggests very strongly an approach to being stewards of our time:
Of the three beatitudes we’ve looked at lately, today’s is the first one that suggests action. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”. The first
beatitude is about a state of heart: blessed are the poor in spirit. The second is about a state of
mourning. The third is about a state of humility or meekness. That is very appropriate because what matters most about you and me is what we are and not what we do. That’s why we are human beings and not human doings.
But today’s beatitude prompts us to action. But it is not a busy sort of action. It is another kind of
pursuit. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”.
The Bible suggests that there are two basic attitudes toward life. One is to spend our time worrying, the other is to spend our time fulfilling.
In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus says: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them”.
An Average Person’s Anxiety Is Focused On……
• 40%——things that will never happen
• 30%——things about the past that can’t be
• 12%——things about criticism by others, mostly
• 10%——about health, which gets worse with
• 8%——about real problems that will be faced
A few quotes about worry:
“Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles”. A Swedish proverb goes like this: “Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. And, “God is a help in trouble. In worry you are on your own”.
So, although the Bible presents worrying as an option
that many people choose, there is another way.