Time Marches On
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There I stood with mountains of paper on the floor. My illness and disability have caused me to sell my professional practice. Privacy and security concerns dictate that I shred my client files. I have been dreading this day. I agonize as I prepare to shred them. They represent 40 years of my life’s work. They consist of copies of insurance policies, wills, trusts, and notes on which I had recorded the goals, dreams, and aspirations of the people I served. Many of these clients have already died. My career has ended. Is there a spiritual message here? Yes, a profound one! Please read more……
The 1976 song, Fly Like An Eagle, by the Steve Miller Band contained these lyrics, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ Into the future.” Sooner or later all people must grapple with and come to terms with the reality that time marches on. The Bible makes this quite clear. James 4:14 tells us that we, “are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.” Psalm 103:15-16 tells us that we blossom like a flower in the field. Wind sweeps over us and we are gone.
I loved my profession and I loved serving my clients. Many of my clients became good friends. In the life insurance business, I was always preparing my clients for the inevitability of death. Now, looking back, I have witnessed the completion of many of the plans I helped to put in place.
Two business partners come to mind. I first met them in 1999. Over the years we put plans in place to both protect their business and their families. Wills and trusts were implemented. Goals and plans for retirement were mapped out. Eventually they sold their business and retired. Now, they are both deceased. I was there to help their families after they died. Now their files are being shredded. My clients…my friends…are gone.
I have countless stories I could tell. Each person was unique. Each person had hopes and aspirations. They had families and loved ones. Many are gone. My remaining clients will now receive excellent care from the firm I sold my practice to. Time has marched on for me and for my clients. Life’s circumstances are different now.
There is no pause button for life. The clock is always ticking. None of us knows what lies ahead in our future. None of us knows how much time we have left.
At a very early age, I learned the story of Adam and Eve and how, through their sin, they brought death into the world. God’s words still echo in my thoughts, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
As a lifelong Catholic, the haunting words from Ash Wednesday as the priest would place a cross of ashes on my forehead are forever seared into my brain, “Remember man that you are dust and unto dust you shall return (Genesis 3:19).
I never shied away from sharing my faith with my clients, even though some were not Christian. It seemed like the natural and right thing to do when helping them prepare for the reality of death. Most of my deceased clients died at or near normal life expectancy. Some died young from illnesses and still others died suddenly and without warning. I hope and pray that each one who passed was ready to meet his or her creator. Shredding these files, is one, last and final goodbye.
Are you ready to die? Are your spiritual and life affairs in order? If not, there is no better time than today to act. Repent and be saved! Invite Jesus more fully into your life. Hug those you love. Tell them you love them. Write letters to those you care about.
Professionally, I helped my clients understand that they could not procrastinate forever. The same is true spiritually! Today is the day and now is the hour. It’s too late to write a will or buy life insurance after you’re dead. Likewise, it’s too late after death to finally take your faith seriously.
Death is sneaking up on us. It gets closer every day. With death comes judgement. Hebrews 9:27-28 tells us we will all die and will be judged. It also says that Christ came to bring us salvation. Daniel 12:2 tells us “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; Some to everlasting life, others to reproach and everlasting disgrace.”
As we contemplate our future we should remember Jesus’ words in Luke 12:25-26, “Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?”
At this time in my life, God has called me into ministry. What is He calling you to? Now is the time to get right with God!
It is true, time is marching on, but as Christians we have these words of Jesus to comfort us, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”
Do you believe this? I do!
Heavenly Father, I know my time here is limited. Help me to serve you in all I do each day. Keep me always in your care, until one day you bring me home to you. Amen!
As always, I love to read your comments below as well as hear from you personally by clicking here.
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Hey Brian…my wife and I just finished last weekend revising our wills from 11 years ago since our son just turned 18! We took out the clause for his honorary godparents to be his guardians had anything happened to us…now we need to sit down and go over the will with Will and let him know where all the policies and papers are…and so then 2 days later I read your 4th Day reflection…thanks for the affirmation that we did the right thing! Peace, Bill
When I saw your title “Time Marches On,” my immediate thought was “I don’t want to read this now. Perhaps another day.” Was I thinking this was my wake up call to live and love each day because I don’t know if I have tomorrow? Get over the illusion we can live in separateness? Stop worrying about everything because tomorrow it won’t make any difference?
What I do know is God holds my hand and heart every day. Such patience he says. Through your Broken Door Ministries, Brian, you have held our hands and hearts as well.
Thanks for your post. Yes in deed, God is always with us!
You are so right that time does March on. Where does the hours, days and years go? I am so thankful for your weekly messages and encouragements. I do realize that the closing of a chapter can be hard. I also know that our Lord will be with you as you do it. He is with us all.
Thank you my friend!
Thanks for your post. The door the Lord opens is always the right door to walk through.
I have walked much of this wonderful career with you and also have opportunity to celebrate your promotion to an elevated position as minister of the gospel.
You are faithful and testify to our purpose and the message of faith!
Thanks you dear friend!
Brian: You in deed have served your clients well. As one of them I know you have always treated your clients like family.
As a former coworker of yours I have had the unique vantage point to see how detailed and caring you are; and always the ultimate believer in Christ!
Your career and life have been exemplary and you should be proud of your life’s work!
I am proud to have worked with you and to call you friend!
God bless you Brian!!
Thank you Craig! My life was blessed by walking many years of my journey with you. May God’s blessings be with you!
Brian, so happy to know you and again to let you know how much you helped us through some difficult times. Yes, time does move on and so do we. God Bless You.
Thanks Brian….I fully understand what you are shredding and remembering. We shared a wonderful business but time marches on. Many years ago in my Wednesday Bible study I brought up “will Hindus and Buddhists go to heaven”…the evangelical group said no….nothing in the Bible says they will. I said that doesn’t seem like the God I know. Then one member, Phil (who has now journeyed to Heaven), said “the Bible tells us believing in Jesus gives those that do a “ticket” and all of us have a “ticket” (our group has referred to the ticket many times over the years), and then my friend added “but certainly God has the power to invite others”. We, as Christians each have a ticket but our non-Christian friend may be invited. This gives me great comfort when with my non-Christian friends.
God’s ways are above our ways. None of us fully understand the mind of God. I pray that God has a plan to save all people. We are all weak and broken and we all need the saving grace of Jesus Christ. This is true even for those who currently don’t believe in Him.
Thank you again for your thoughtful weekly message. I feel like I have been a client of yours for the past several years. Keep working miracles.