My friend, Wayne, stopped by my office two days ago to talk. He asked me if I had time for lunch. I sharply replied, “No.” I then proceeded to tell him all about my busy schedule. Reports to finish, things to do, people to see… my life is busy. As I barely look up from my computer screen, I tell him that I just don’t have time.
Yes, my life at work IS busy. It is a virtual assembly-line of busywork, one thing after another. If I eat lunch, it’s in the car on the run, going from one busy thing to the next. I use my smartphone to manage my calendar and it alerts me to remember my next appointment. I hate being late. I hate running behind. I’m busy.
As I ponder all this busy-ness this morning, somehow I’m reminded of an adult Sunday school lesson I taught several years ago. I was trying to get everyone to understand visually the concept of eternity. I tied a string high up on a wall at one end of the room and fastened the other end at the same height at the other end of the room. I explained that this string is a timeline for eternity, except I said to imagine the sting running on a straight line through the wall, through the other walls in the building and out the door, through the parking lot, and on and on and on. Both directions.
Then I said, “Do you see the dot on the string right here?” I had placed a tiny mark on the string. Everyone strained to see the dot. I’m not sure they could even see it. I said, “That dot is the span of your life, compared to the immensity of eternity.”
I’m reminded of that dot and that string this morning as I ponder my busy-work. When it’s all said and done, God won’t ask me about my work, my reports, my deadlines and how well I managed my schedule. As I sit with Him for all eternity, He may ask me what I did with the vast array of people He sent my way. He will ask me, I fear, about what I did with the relationships He gave me.
Although my life is a speck on the timeline of eternity, it has a ripple effect on the folks I encounter every day, especially on the folks I have a relationship with. They are impacted by me – positively or negatively – and they, in turn, do the same to the folks they encounter. Andy Andrews calls it “The Butterfly Effect.” Google that sometime and watch a seven-minute video. It will give you perspective.
So will the memory of a string in the air, reminding me of what’s really important.
I think I’ll call Wayne and have lunch.