Imagine, for just one moment, that you’re sitting on the deck of an elegant cruise ship. You’re wearing a nice cozy bathrobe over your swim suit. The stars are out in full force and have perfectly framed the crescent moon. The lunar glow is reflecting off the waves and you’re pretty sure you just saw a dolphin gracefully leap into the air. Perhaps you’re smoking a cigar or sipping a nice cup of tea. You enjoy the warmth as it permeates you. You’re enjoying the briny scent of waves gently lapping against the hull of this mighty ship. The only problem is all the noise!
Apparently the ship–a ship even God couldn’t sink–had a bit of a side-scrape with an iceberg and now everyone is worried about dying. What’s that all about? Their fear is understandable, after all, there aren’t enough life rafts, are there? But you don’t mind because you’re way smarter than all of them. You found a spare life raft and have stowed it away for just the right time. When your time comes, you’ll nonchalantly climb right into your life raft and float to safety. Your real big concern is whether or not you’ll have to get your feet wet climbing into your raft, but hey, not everything comes easy, does it?
But for now, it would be nice if you could just enjoy your robe, cigar, and the evening. Sure, you could fit 8 people in that life-raft, but who wants to go through the trouble of getting to know those people? What if it’s inconvenient? You might have to give up some of your luxuries. What if one of the people you meet annoys you? Or even worse, what if they reject your offer? Surely better to let them perish than telling them you have a life boat.
“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6)”
Whether we like it or not, we have a very short span of time to make an eternal difference in the lives of those we encounter. Will you simply enjoy the scenery this world has to offer or will you be intentional about how you use this short life you’ve been given? This is a question you must answer every day.