Less Time Than You Think

Every year, I think I have more time. Pentecost ends, and the Feast of Trumpets seems an impossibly long way away. The days tick on, slowly at first, one after the other, not a single holy day in sight. Ahead of us is an endless expanse of average, everyday life.

Then something happens. I don’t know what, but something. The fall festivals start heading toward us at full speed, like a torpedo launched at an unsuspecting frigate. Days move faster, the clock doesn’t wait as long before clicking over to the next second, and then…

And then we’re here. Trumpets has come and gone. Atonement is over, too. We’re in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles, and even that’s starting to pick up momentum. The Last Great Day will be here soon, and then we’ll be back to the waiting, back to the feeling of “forever away.”

I guess that’s part of the lesson. We think we have time. We think it’s a million miles away.

And then it’s here.

I’m a big proponent of not getting overambitious when it comes to anticipating Christ’s return. I think the Church has a long history (all the way back to Paul) of announcing it as right around the corner, only to find ourselves a few decades (or centuries) (or millennia) premature.

But I also think that if the holy day season that pictures the return of Christ to earth keeps cycling around faster than we expect it to, maybe there’s something to that. Maybe there’s a message we’re supposed to be hearing:

You have less time than you think.

The future pictured by these fall festivals is going to hit the world like a whirlwind. The Son of Man will come like lightning, Satan will be bound, and we’ll be reigning with Christ for a thousand years. So much packed into a handful of moments that seem impossibly far away…

Now is the time to prepare.

Not later. Not tomorrow. Now.

How far away does next year’s Feast of Tabernacles feel right now? A small eternity, right? We’re still not even done with this year’s.

But it’s coming. Around this time next year, you’ll be looking back again, wondering where all the time went and how the holy days got here so quickly again.

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:45-51).

The future is coming, and it’s heading toward us like a torpedo. We might be alive when Christ returns; we might not. Either way, we have less time than we think—and either way, we need to be getting ready: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12).

Have a fantastic rest of your Feast of Tabernacles. Enjoy it the way God meant for it to be enjoyed—as a picture of the beautiful future that’s coming faster than we realize. And if we have less time than we think, then let’s use it wisely.

Until next time,

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