E20: Our time is our life
PODCAST: We’re living in a time that will never return. Make your time count!
How to make your time count for today and eternity
Happy first day of 2020! Time flies, and the time we have now won’t come back. In this episode, we look at how the time we have can count, not only now, but in all eternity! A real encouragement for living a meaningful life!
Transcript: “Living the Gospel” podcast, Episode 20: Our time is our life
This is ActiveChristianity’s “Living the Gospel” podcast. Join us as we explore different aspects of the gospel according to the Bible, and how we can put them into practice in daily life.
Eunice: It’s 2020 and a new decade has begun! Welcome to Episode 20 and I’m Eunice.
Milenko: And I’m Milenko. It’s quite fitting that we start 2020 with Episode 20. It’s funny, it seems like it’s just yesterday that – at risk of revealing my age – we were looking forward to the year 2000.
Eunice: The millennium!
Milenko: The millennium. It was like a lot of rumors going, a lot of mixed feelings – fear and excitement.
Eunice: I remember that, actually. Not risking revealing my age but I remember that as well.
Milenko: Yeah, right. The thing is, it’s 2020! It’s just flown by. You sometimes think, you know … Did you have any thoughts what 2020 would be like?
Eunice: I wouldn’t say I had specific thoughts what it would be like, but I can say that I definitely did not expect it to be like this! Technology has moved – if you think about the last 20 years – way ahead.
Milenko: Yeah, it’s incredible.
Eunice: I remember thinking about smart phones. I think like, “Oh, imagine one day if I could use my phone to go on the internet!” Bam! Everyone has a phone that goes on the internet. Things like that. Yeah, it’s pretty crazy!
Milenko: The article we’re reading today, you recently told me that this is one of your favorite articles. It’s about making your time count. Why is this your favorite article?
Eunice: I think over the years, we’ve had this specific article being read in my surroundings. I’ve heard it being read at a bridal shower a few years ago for one of my friends and another time, I can’t remember when it was now. But it’s an article that fits for every season in life, especially fitting for New Year when you’re thinking about taking stock, doing things different, New Year’s resolutions. It’s something to think about … an article that can really remind you about the choices you make in life.
And I’m just thinking, New Year’s resolutions are somewhat of a tradition that people do, but it’s also somewhat of a tradition that it gets forgotten by February or something. So, what do you think, Milenko could be, how can we hold fast to the decisions that we make? Not necessarily saying New Year’s resolutions, but just any decision, really.
Milenko: Well, I wish I had the answer for everybody, that sort of would revolutionize the world. But I think making decisions is often … It’s got to do with things I know should be better. So, I’m aware of things that I’ve been doing that aren’t as they should be, and it’s got to do with self-control and willpower. And if you want to do this all in your own strength, I think we find it very difficult, and usually we can’t manage.
Eunice: Like keeping a diet or something?
Milenko: Well, it’s … for example. And when we think about decisions we make, spiritual decisions – I want to turn my life around, I want to serve God, I want to … and you see how badly things have gone. And then you can’t do it in your own strength. You do fall, and you do go back and backslide.
Eunice: And that’s what makes you feel discouraged.
Milenko: Yeah, it makes you discouraged and, in the end, you just say, “Well, what’s the point of making this decision? I’ve done it so many times, and …” We had an episode a few weeks ago about this quote, “We’re living here to be formed for eternity.” That’s been with me since then; I’ve thought a lot about it. These decisions we make, they should have an impact on our eternity. As Christians, as people who serve Christ and live for Him and love Him and are looking forward to meeting Him, that’s what it’s about. That we want to now please Him. If we get that seriousness over ourselves, then we can ask for help. Also, to see that every moment does count. The important thing is that we have to be serious when we make a decision. I’m thinking now about, not a diet decision, but I’m thinking about our spiritual life, we want to serve God, and from now on, I’m going to do it better and I’m going to …
Eunice: Maybe stopping some things that I know are bad for me and starting some things that are good.
Milenko: And working on my relationships with others, because I see I’m … I’m selfish, I’m thinking of myself all the time, whether I want to or not. But to take that seriously, and then I have to ask for help and really commit myself to God and His Word and His Spirit’s guiding. Then I think, not only that we’ve got a hope for succeeding, but it’s a guarantee. When we’ve got God on our side and we are obedient to His will, that’s the key to success – humbling myself, that I lay down my own life, my own opinions and my own will. I think that’s really a key to success and when I start experiencing that, it gives me real courage to keep going, instead of another defeat you know, another …
Eunice: You get a taste of victory and you realize that you can do this.
Milenko: That’s right. Now we have got an enemy, the accuser, who tries to come in and tries to tell us, “Remember this,” “Remember the past!” The thing is, the past belongs in the past! I’m living now, and I’m serving God now. That’s the point. Even if I do fall, and that’s very likely that that will happen, but that doesn’t mean that I have to give up. I’ve still made that decision and that decision that I’ve made, that’s the real me – that’s the one that wants to serve God, that’s walking on the way. A fall doesn’t mean the end of the world. A fall means I have to repent, but I have to get up and I have to keep going. Not let the accuser break me down. Then I get content in my life, and that’s what this article is about too. What do we actually get out of our life? When you’re looking back, can you see what’s happened in your life? And the circumstances I’ve been in, have they worked something in me? On that note, I think we can probably read the article. Because I think it’s a really good one to think about at this time.
(Click to read:)
Make your time count for today and eternity
Eunice: I think this article really awoke a seriousness in me that the time I’m living in now won’t come back. Like the seriousness you were talking about before we read the article – that seriousness really comes forth in this article. We go through many different times in our personal lives, and also people around us go through different times. Quite often I might be in a time that I feel like, “I’ve been through this, and this person is kind of working through that,” and it’s easy to have thoughts about that. Maybe I kind of look down on them or I lose patience with them. So, there’s actually so much to get out of this article when I read it, I just saw a lot of myself that I could work on. What did you think Milenko?
Milenko: Yeah, and we were just talking before we read the article about how to hold on to our decisions. Sigurd Bratlie writes here about the dry times, the times when you don’t feel much, when it’s difficult times and that you should be able to find nuggets of gold in those layers as well.
And that’s the whole point, that I see beyond the dry times; beyond the situations I am in now and I see what I’m going to get out of it. I learn to give up my own will, my own demands and that I can start serving God; then I get those nuggets of gold. They are going to last for eternity. That makes every time I am in actually really interesting. Not necessarily that I feel it that way, but I know that this is what is happening. And in my spirit, I’m uplifted, and I drink of these wells that God gives me in the dry times, and out of it comes gold. The same happens in the other times – the good times. Then it’s easy to relax and start thinking about other things: “There’s no problems; I don’t need God.” On the contrary, that’s exactly when I do need God, to hold fast and to be faithful, that there’s also gold there. So, I think this article is really inspiring for me, that every day counts, every time counts and what can I get out of it.
Eunice: I remember this saying that’s super common. I also heard it being mentioned before, “this too shall pass.” For example, you have a hard situation, you have someone annoying in your life, “This too shall pass, I’ll get over it, just hang in there!” But this article, the whole mindset is completely different. Like what you said, when I’m looking for the nuggets of gold, then it’s not, “This too shall pass,” but: “This too shall pass; I’d better make use of the time now!”
Milenko: Yeah, right. It becomes like an encouragement to really be faithful right now.
Eunice: It will pass!
Milenko: Yeah, 2020 already.
Eunice: Like what’s written in the article, there are victories to be won, opportunities to be grasped during a particular time that cannot be won and grasped during the time that follows. When I was reading this article again before we did this podcast, then it suddenly became clear to me that that includes the people that I’m with. I may be with the people that I might not be with in a few years, and it’s the time now that I should build a good relationship with them and for example, to learn to forgive and to learn to have fellowship with them. That became super clear to me. It was like a revelation!
Milenko: Sigurd Bratlie, he writes about this as well on a serious note, that only a few people who are awake to this fact and they understand it only after the time has passed them by. Then they wake up and realized everything they should have done and not done but then it’s too late. And the layers of the earth testify against them.
Eunice: That’s serious.
Milenko: That’s really serious! But what this means is that we should think “OK, now I have to start thinking about the time right now and be conscious about this.” It’s an exercise, to be conscious about the time I’m in now and that these layers are not going to testify against me; they are going to testify to God’s glory, what God could do in my life, in these times. That’s a real motivation. Instead of always having to regret, looking back with regret. I can work now and then I can look back and I can be thankful, and it’s to God’s glory. What better way to live your life?
Eunice: I think of the heroes in the Bible; there are some, for example Joshua and Caleb, where it’s written about how they had faith, but then there are also all the others who, you don’t even know their names pretty much, because they didn’t believe. I actually heard it a few weeks ago in one of our church meetings where someone talked about how when the Bible history is written again, will you be included? How will it be written about you? That really hit me. I don’t expect to be written as this big hero, but at least I don’t want to be one that’s written about as someone who didn’t believe, someone who created trouble. Because it is my life, I can’t change my past in a way, so it gives me seriousness for the present too.
Milenko: So, the thing is that, we have to work while God is prompting us. While we know what we have to do, which is now. I always have something to work with, somewhere, be thankful, to be patient, to be loving and good to others and I find things in myself that go against that, but now I have work – that’s the point. While the opportunity is there and it’s always an opportunity, that’s my life – it’s an opportunity, right now.
Eunice: It’s so easy to make excuses or put it aside, don’t you think? I think it’s human nature; probably everyone experiences that. Say, “Yeah, I’ll do that tomorrow,” or, “It’s something that I only know, and that person will have no idea, whatever way I do it; it doesn’t matter.” But it does matter!
Milenko: And I’m working on my own salvation and I can also be along in blessing the others, right now. You can do something for people now. It’s also easy to look back and say, “Oh, if only I’ve been better to them,” or, “If only I’ve been better to my brothers and sisters and my parents,” and then later, “If only I’ve been better to my kids, my colleagues,” and so on. Why always look back and think, “If only I could have done something more!” Do something now! Think about it, maybe do something today. Go out and do something extra and maybe go against your own inclinations and bless others where it’s difficult for you. And I think you won’t regret that. On the contrary.
Eunice: It also says in the article that people usually prefer one time to the other. That also was something that hit me. It’s probably not so strange because human nature would rather enjoy than suffer. So, do you have some advice and some encouragement for someone who is going through some time that they would prefer not to be going through this time, but they are anyway? Do you have any encouragement for them to hold on to something; something they can hold on to?
Milenko: I think that’s exactly the thing, that we can’t, usually we can’t choose our situations. Things come up in life and we have to go through difficult times; every single person on earth goes through difficult times where you’d rather it wasn’t happening, rather, much rather it was not happening. There can be really times that you desperately want to get out of, but instead of … It can sound like it’s easy to say while I’m sitting here in the studio, but the thing is, those times, they are precious times and I have to – if I’ve got faith in God – I have to believe that He has led me to this situation because He’s got a purpose in my life.
And to find that purpose as it says in Romans 8:28, that “all things work together for good, for those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” OK, then I think, “What’s my purpose, that I’m called to?” All things, it says, work together for good. And that means this also. And the good, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the situation will pass, as you said before, “This, too, will pass,” and then suddenly everything is better, and it was for the good. It can be that the situation keeps going for the rest of my life. Take illness for example, or financial difficulties or relationships to others that I can’t change them and I’m in that situation, but what’s God’s purpose for me? How do I use this time? And I can find this in myself; I can find demands, I can find irritation, I can find these things that go against God’s will and I can work with those, and when I do that and I’m obedient to God’s Spirit, His promptings where I have to humble myself, what happens?
Eunice: You’re getting changed!
Milenko: I become changed, and isn’t that for the good?
Eunice: Then that does pass! My impatience does pass!
Milenko: Right, and that is His purpose for me. And then there’s no problems that anyone can dig in my past. All those situations that I wish hadn’t happened according to my feelings and so on – and they are difficult situations sometimes, small and big – I can look back and anyone can dig in those layers and there’ll be gold. Instead of rubbish and disappointments and complaining, that the difficult situation became even worse because of my attitude, it can be that those situations delivered gold. Then I’ve lived according to God’s purpose. Then His Word has gone out and done what it’s supposed to do in my life. It’s to God’s glory; it’s not something I do in my own strength. I get strength from Him and His Spirit in those situations. So, if we can live like that, then we’ve got a really bright future. Fantastic life on earth no matter what situation I’m in, no matter what feelings I have, I’ve still got a fantastic life. And then think of eternity, when all those situations are taken away and I’ve only got glory and the content I’ve received in this life. I think this reminder we have; we can start 2020 thinking like this: “This year is going to count; the rest of my life is going to count!” I think that’s fantastic!
Eunice: I think also through hard times, when you take it right, it really brings forth the virtues in people. Like when you, how does it say, like, it takes fire to bring forth gold. I know I’ve met people in life who’ve had difficult situations, sickness and all that and all you see is the virtues that come forth, and that is the biggest testimony and example that God’s Word works. That’s how we can be for people and I hope I can be for people.
Milenko: Right. Let’s finish on that note, that we have this life where anyone can dig in the layers of our life and find gold, find proof that God’s Word works. That God is mighty to save even a wretch like me in all those different times I’ve gone through in my life. That’s how this year is going to be for me, that’s my decision and God will help me to stick to it.
Eunice: Same for me. So, have an awesome new year and all the best for 2020. Make your time count for today and eternity, and we look forward to lots more good things coming in 2020 from ActiveChristianity.
Milenko: Yeah, absolutely. We’ve got plans for quite a few different things, hopefully some really good animation videos and that kind of thing.
Eunice: An update to our website.
Milenko: Update to our website. So, there’s going to be a lot happening. Keep following.
Eunice: And also, that this podcast will continue.
Milenko: And the podcast will continue. So, keep following, and see you again next week.