Home » (Reflections) » Time Enough for the One Great Accomplishment

Time Enough for the One Great Accomplishment

I sigh that I do not have enough time to do something, but in that sigh what you should hear is: that I am utterly lost in sin. As I lament my lack of accomplishment in time, I am distracted, unresolved, uncommitted. The sigh and lament are the sin, for God has not called me, nor you, nor any believer, to accomplish anything in time. If a believer does happen to accomplish many things in time, and if he is a genuine believer, then his accomplishments in time were incidental to his calling. And if another believer happens to die young in obscurity and poverty and unexplained suffering, and if he is a genuine believer, then his lack of accomplishment was also incidental to his calling, which was equal and equivalent to the other’s. In both cases, the believers were called to one great accomplishment, against which all accomplishments in time are nothing, ephemeral vapor, striving after the wind. And the one great accomplishment is not in time, does not have the constraints of time. Yet from the obvious difference between these two believers, and between you and me, we should not say that a believer “has all the time in the world” for the one great accomplishment. He surely does not. (And anyone who thinks he has all the time in the world to accomplish anything, in time or not in time, is utterly stupid and doomed to scream, “Not yet!” once he realizes that his procrastination is bringing judgment, in time or not in time, upon him.) Now, how does a believer not have all the time in the world for the one great accomplishment which itself does not have the constraints of time? A believer needs only an instant. And all are given at least this instant, the decisive instant, against which all the time in the world is nothing, ephemeral vapor, striving after the wind. Contained in the decisive instant is the decision of eternity. The one great accomplishment requires only an instant before it says that it is finished, and all the time and times in the world are mere coincidences with the decisive instant. Understanding all this and resting in the one great accomplishment, the believer does not sigh about time. You and I might sigh that we have too little time whenever we cannot manage to store our perishing treasures in our barns—and the sigh is the sin. But we would never sigh that we have too little time to lay up treasures in heaven! For that, no time is needed and more than enough is given. Only forgetting the one great accomplishment do I sigh about not having enough time to do something. Only without faith do I sigh about time.

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