70-Year Life Span
Someone has calculated how a typical life span of 70 years is spent. Here is his estimate:
Time Spent in 70-Year Life
If one lives to be 70 years of age and is the average person, he spends:
- 20 years sleeping
- 20 years working
- 7 years eating
- 7 years playing
- 5 years dressing
- 1 year on the telephone
- 2-1/2 years in bed
- 3 years waiting for somebody
- 5 months tying shoes
- 2-1/2 years for other things
- 1-1/2 year in church
- C. Swindoll, Growing Pains
- C. Swindoll, Someone Who Beckons, p. 32
Be wholly committed to Christs service each day. Dont touch sin with a barge-pole. Keep short accounts with God. Think of each hour as Gods gift to you, to make the most and best of. Plan your life, budgeting for 70 years (Psalm 90:10), and understanding that if your time proves shorter, it will not be unfair deprivation but rapid promotion. Never let the good, or the not-so-good, crowd out the best, and cheerfully forgo what is not the best for the sake of what is. Live in the present; gratefully enjoy its pleasures and work through its pain with God, knowing that both the pleasures and the pains are steps on the journey home. Open all your life to the Lord Jesus and spend time consciously in his company, basking in and responding to his love. Say to yourself often that every day is one day nearer. Remember that, as George Whitefield said, man is immortal until his work is done (though God alone defines the work), and get on with what you know to be Gods task for you here and now (J. I. Packer).
A life-threatening experience has a way of rearranging ones priorities. That was true in the lives of former Texas Governor John Connally and his wife after he was wounded by the assassin who took the life of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
In an interview, Connally explained, “As far as Nellie and I are concerned,...it inevitably brought into sharper focus whats really important in life...We try not to participate in things that are shallow or in the long run meaningless.”
I Would Rather Have
I would rather have one little rose
From the garden of a friend
Than to have the choicest flowers
When my stay on earth must end.
I would rather have a pleasant word
In kindness said to me
Than flattery when my heart is still,
And life has ceased to be.
I would rather have a loving smile
From friends I know are true
Than tears shed round my casket
When to this world I bid adieu.
Bring me all your flowers today,
Whether pink, or white, or red;
Id rather have one blossom now
Than a truckload when Im dead.
A Linear Life
The Donahueite world-view is of a linear life. When a certain number of years have elapsed, its over. Period. Its a pathetic picture, and one people seldom look at unless it is forced upon themas it was with poignancy and wit in City Slickers. While this movie may not rank among the great morality plays of all time (and some would find parts of the film offensive), it certainly drives the point home, along with the cattle.
Comedian Billy Crystal plays the part of a bored baby boomer who sells radio advertising time. One the day he visits his sons school to tell about his work along with other fathers, he suddenly lets loose a deadpan monologue to the bewildered youngsters in the class:
Value this time in your life, kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices. I goes by fast.
When youre a teenager, you think you can do anything and you do. Your twenties are a blur.
Thirties you raise your family, you make a little money, and you think to yourself, “What happened to my twenties?”
Forties, you grow a little pot belly, you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud, one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother.
Fifties, you have a minor surgeryyoull call it a procedure, but its a surgery.
Sixties, youll have a major surgery, the music is still loud, but it doesnt matter because you cant hear it anyway.
Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale. You start eating dinner at 2:00 in the afternoon, you have lunch around 10:00, breakfast the night before, spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate soft yogurt and muttering, “How come the kids dont call? How come the kids dont call?”
The eighties, youll have a major stroke, and you end up babbling with some Jamaican nurse who your wife cant stand, but who you call mama.
“You dont go look at where it happened,” said Scott Goodyear, who starts 33rd [speaking of race-car drivers who have been killed in crashes at the Indianapolis 500]. “You dont watch the films of it on television. You dont deal with it. You pretend it never happened.” The Speedway operation itself encourages this approach. As soon as the track closes the day of an accident, a crew heads out to paint over the spot where the car hit the wall.
Through the years, a driver has never been pronounced dead at the race track. A trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Racing Museum, located inside the 2.5-mile oval, has no memorial to the 40 drivers who have lost their lives here. Nowhere is there even a mention.
You are but a Man
Philip II, father of Alexander the Great and king of Macedon, was always accompanied by two men who had a very interesting duty. One man was to say to him each morning, “Philip, remember that you are but a man,” while the second asked the king each evening, “Philip, have you remembered that you are but a man?”
All is ephemeralfame and the famous as well.
Nobel Peace Prize
It is possible to live under a delusion. You think you are kind, considerate and gracious when you are really not. You think you are building positive stuff into your children when in reality, if you could check with them twenty years later, you really didnt. What if you could read your own obituary? How do people really see you? Here is the story of a man who did.
One morning in 1888 Alfred Noble, inventor of dynamite, awoke to read his own obituary. The obituary was printed as a result of a simple journalistic error. You see, it was Alfreds brother that had died and the reporter carelessly reported the death of the wrong brother.
Any man would be disturbed under the circumstances, but to Alfred the shock was overwhelming because he saw himself as the world saw him. The “Dynamite King,” the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives. This, as far as the general public was concerned, was the entire purpose of Alfreds life. None of his true intentions to break down the barriers that separated men and ideas for peace were recognized or given serious consideration. He was simply a merchant of death. And for that alone he would be remembered.
As he read the obituary with horror, he resolved to make clear to the world the true meaning and purpose of his life. This could be done through the final disposition of his fortune. His last will and testament would be the expression of his lifes ideals and ultimately would be why we would remember him. The result was the most valuable of prizes given to those who had done the most for the cause of world peace. It is called today, the “Nobel Peace Prize.”
Cant Afford to Waste Time Making Money
The great 19th-century naturalist and Harvard professor Louis Agassiz was once approached by the emissary of a learned society and invited to address its members. Agassiz declined the invitation, saying that lectures of this kind took up too much time that should be devoted to research and writing. The man persisted, saying that the society was prepared to pay handsomely for the lecture.
“Thats no inducement to me,” Agassiz replied, “I cant afford to waste my time making money.”
Get Rid of the Ifs
Famed pianist Artur Rubinstein, celebrating his 84th birthday, said:
“As long as we have what we have inside, the capacity to love, to work, to hear music, to see a flower, to look at the world as it is, nothing can stop us from being happy...but one thing you must take seriously. You must get rid of the ifs of life. Many people tell you, I would be happyif I had a certain job, or if I were better looking, or if a certain person would marry me. There isnt any such thing. You must live your life unconditionally, without the ifs.”
There are three huge gates that lead into the Cathedral of Milan. Over one gate there is an inscription in marble under a beautiful flower bouquet that says, “The things that please are temporary.” Over the second gate, there is a cross with this inscription: “The things that disturb us are temporary.” However, over the central gate, there is a big inscription saying, “Eternal are the important ones.”
We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end
I looked upon a farm one day,
that once I used to own;
The barn had fallen to the ground,
the fields were overgrown.
The house in which my children grew,
where we had lived for years
I turned to see it broken down,
and brushed aside the tears.
I looked upon my soul one day,
to find it, too, had grown
With thorns and thistles everywhere
the seeds neglect had sown.
The years had passed while I had cared
For things of lesser worth;
The things of heaven I let go
While minding things of earth.
To Christ I turned with bitter tears,
And cried, “O Lord, forgive!
I havent much time left for thee,
Not many years to live.”
The wasted years forever gone,
The days I cant recall;
If I could live those days again,
Id make him Lord of all.