Pastor Audrey Rydbom

Pella Lutheran Church

How are you? Busy? I can’t tell you the number of people I see in a day who will respond “busy” when I inquire about their general well-being. Busyness has come to be a type of status symbol. The busier we are the more important we think we sound. But there is another side of this busyness. While it might make us feel important, it can also leave us feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Time seems to control us. Time fills us with guilt when we are running late. Time makes us feel old when we no longer can get done in a day what we once did. How often do we find ourselves wishing for time to just stop; stop and give us a break?

If you have had this desire, then you have desired eternal life. Eternal life happens when time stops. You might be thinking “well sure, when we die, time stops.” I will not disagree time will cease to exist at our earthly death. There are no clocks, calendars or appointments to keep when we die to this earthly life and are raised to life eternal with Jesus. However, there is more to eternal life than believers are promised at the death of this earthly life.

According to Jesus we have the opportunity to experience eternal life now; we do not have to wait for our bodies to give out. For example, in John 10 verses 27-28 we hear Jesus say, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Jesus says “he gives,” present tense, as in now, eternal life. There are several more verses that say eternal life is for now but due to restrictions, on article length, I will refrain from showing you all of them. I encourage you to search the scriptures yourself to find out you don’t have to wait to experience eternal life; you can have it now.

Jesus tells us that eternal life is to know God, (John 17:3). Not just have knowledge of who God is and what God, through Jesus, does for us, but to have an intimate, close relationship with God. A relationship so close that when you are spending time with God in prayer or hearing God’s Word, you are so captivated that you don’t even think about looking at your watch; time stops. Time stops when you are intently listening to the Holy Spirit guiding you. Time stops when you are studying God’s Word with friends and neighbors and no one says “oh wait; look at the time.” When we experience the stopping of time in these ways we also come to know the peace which surpasses all understanding; the peace which only comes through Christ.

One of the best biblical stories of this intent learning and loss of time is in Acts 20. Paul is saying farewell. One of the young men listening to Paul was so caught up in what he was hearing he literally dozed off and fell out the window in which he was sitting. Once it was determined he would live, Paul went back to preaching and teaching all night, into the morning hours. No one worried about the time; all experienced eternal life in the listening to God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

I encourage you not to wait. Let go of some of your busyness. Let time stop. Spend time getting to know God now. By doing this you will have the joy of eternal life now, as God intends.

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