October 2, 2011

Moments Make a Life


“What is man, that You should exalt him, That You should set Your heart on him, That You should visit him every morning, And test him every moment?” (Job 7:17,18).


Growing to be a person of godly integrity is the work of a lifetime, but whether we grow in this direction or not is determined by the many “little” decisions we make moment by moment. A human life is the accumulation of all its moments. There is no such thing as an unimportant decision.

Remembering the simple, momentary nature of life ought to be helpful to us if we’re serious about seeking God. Daunting tasks lose their power to discourage us when we break them down into each moment’s doable deeds. At any particular moment, whatever should be done can be done. Taken individually, single moments are always manageable.

But when we take on the burden of doing more than one moment’s work at a time, our burden is both impossible and foolish. “The next hour, the next moment, is as much beyond our grasp and as much in God’s care, as that a hundred years away. . . . The moment which coincides with work to be done is the moment to be minded; the next is nowhere till God has made it” (George MacDonald).

One of the most empowering questions a person can ever ask is this: What is the very best thing I could actually do right now, in this present moment? Forget the next moment or some other moment, what is the main thing that lies before me at just this moment? In the end, lives of great, climactic godliness result from a decision to do right by the ordinary moments. Obedience is not impossible. We must simply embrace, right now, whatever we know the Lord would want us to be doing right now!

Did our Lord not warn us to be careful about the “little” things? Did He not say, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10)? Life is a long journey indeed, but although the steps that take us toward God are many, they should be taken – indeed, can only be taken – one at a time. The key to life is the peaceful, persistent management of the moments.

“Take care of the minutes, and the hours will take care of themselves” (Lord Chesterfield).