November 24, 2019
The best graduation address I ever heard was at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, MO. in 1987.
I’m sorry I can’t remember the professor’s name giving the address, but I’ll never forget the contents of his message. He started his message by saying he was now an old man in his seventies. He said he had been in the ministry all his adult life, either pastoring churches or eventually teaching seminary classes. He went on to say that when he was young he had many plans he wanted to do in the ministry, both as a pastor and as a teacher. And he said he had had many plans for his family — especially vacations, traveling (he wanted to take his family to the HOLY Land, but never did.) He said there were just so many things he wanted to do in life, but now he realized that many of his plans would never come to fruition. Why? Just not enough time.
He said he was talking to all the minsterial students in the audience, not just the graduating class of 1987. He said to the audience, “Go to a good bookstore and buy yourselves a couple of books on time management.” He said time was precious and we needed to learn to use it wisely because none of us know how much time we have left.
I did what the professor encouraged us to do. Through the years I have read three or four books on how to manage your time. All of the books I read were good, but the fact remains than we all just have 24 hours in a day; therefore, we must be good stewards of our God given time. Like the professor, we all have plans – things we want to do in our lifetime.
I watched a good movie several years ago about Huey P. Long, Jr. I’ve also read a couple of biographies about him. He served as the governor of Louisiana from 1928 until 1932. Then he was a U.S. Senator from 1932 until 1935, when he was assassinated in Baton Rouge, La. Had he not been killed while in his forties, he might have become president of the United States. He was making plans to run against FDR in 1936. Readers of Huey P. Long’s life may not agree with his politics, but nobody can deny that he was a hard worker and accomplished so much for his beloved state of Louisiana, especially the poor people.
My favorite part of the movie (and the books I read) shows a scene when the doctors were frantically working on Mr. Long after he had been shot and was in the hospital emergency room. Mr. Long said to the doctors, “Please don’t let me die. I’ve got so much work to do.” Of course, we all know that Mr. Long did die. Immediately after that movie scene, I thought of the biblical verse, “It is appointed to man once to die…”
After my daddy had been retired for a few years after his career of working as an oil rig driller, he said to me one day, “Son, I don’t know how in the world I ever got anything done around the house while I was working all those years. I get a lot done now, but it takes me a lot longer to do anything and a lot longer to rest after I get through.”
Sandra and I both can really identify with daddy’s statement. Sandra and I both get up early and work all day to get our plans for the day accomplished. And, Yes, we’e a lot slower, too.
One of the things that motivates me to try to accomplish so much is simply the importance of the things I do every day. In addition to all my physical chores, there’s the MAKING of time to do my Bible study and praying. That’s as important as eating, taking showers and other necessities.
In Ephesians 5:16, Paul talks about redeeming the time and explains why. Please read it.
People can waste a lot of valuable time doing things that are otherwise legitimate. Proverbs especially talks about those who sleep too much and are slothful and lazy.
Recently I was reading about a very famous and devout Christian man. He was being criticized for trying to do too much. His defense was, “Well, I can rest when I get to heaven.”
God calls us all to accomplish a mission. Do the best you can in pursuit of that mission until you get too old, too sick, or die.
There are great rewards for those who spend their lives serving God.
God Bless You,