The Deadline

Monday, December 27, 1999

Matthew 25:13 – Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (NRSV)

Recently I have been working at a frantic pace to meet a deadline for a major project at my office. There was a great deal to be done, and a fixed amount of time to do it in. With help from my co-workers, I made it, but just in time. I was busy right up to the last minute.

As I was working, I remembered that my father used to have an old digital clock radio in his study, the kind with the rotating wheels with numbers on them. The clock had stopped working, but the radio was still functional, so Dad kept it. He set the clock at 11:59, as a reminder that it was always just one minute away from midnight.

This reminded me that each of us is always just a minute away from a deadline. The Scripture passage above tells us that we should always be prepared, for we do not know the time of Christ's return. We don't know when Christ will come again. But it is up to us to be prepared. With all of the publicity surrounding the arrival of the year 2000, we have heard a lot about the Second Coming recently. But putting that aside for a moment, there is another coming deadline: at some point, each of us will die. This is a certainty. The clock of our time here on earth is ticking down. We don't know when it will stop, but it surely will. Are we ready for this final deadline?

Are we at peace with God, and with one another? Will we leave behind a legacy of love, or a legacy of hate? Will the world be a better place because of us, or will we have simply taken up some room on the planet for a time? I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I have a lot of work to do in the minute I have left.

Prayer: God, we thank you for the time that we have been given. Help us to use each moment that we are allowed as though it were our last. Amen.

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Alex Bisset <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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