By Kristi Moore
When I first started doing ministry, I was still in High School. My home church needed someone to help out with the children during the Wednesday night Bible Study, so I volunteered. I would often go to work at the local grocery store after school, work a few hours, and then head out to the church. While those days are distant memories now, most of those children have already graduated High School or soon will be. How can they be that old? My time here at Duke Divinity is already half way over, as well. How is that even possible?
Remember the days in elementary and high school when it seemed like the clock just would not move fast enough? Or counting down the days to Christmas break seemed like an eternity? But today, it just doesn’t seem like there is enough time in the day.
This got me thinking about how little our time is here on earth. I’ve been blessed with 27 years so far. I’ve sat around in fellowship with people who’ve had 70, 80 and even 90+ years of life on this earth. Many of them will tell about their loved ones who have passed away, and in these moments I am simply reminded that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. God is in control. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. His love endures forever. When I think about how fast time goes by, I get frustrated with how I spend my days. Days and months go by and before I know it, another year is gone. All those things I wanted to do, get put on next year’s list.
I honestly struggle being in seminary because I know how much more I could actually be doing, rather than sitting in a classroom, studying, and writing papers. I want to go on another mission trip, I want to volunteer more and teach people about God’s love. I want to see young people grow in their knowledge of the Lord. When I think about this, I get anxious. I believe God has me right where he wants me, and I have to be okay with that. I also have to be willing to stop making excuses and start doing the things I’d like to do, so that the things I want to do, become the things I am doing. I also know, that with God as the author of my life, some of the things I want to do, won’t be the things God needs me to do. And I have to be okay with that as well. After all, I’d rather spend my life serving Gid, than serving myself (but often I fail at this – Lord forgive me).
Time goes quickly. One day, we will look back and wonder how we spent our time. I don’t want to look back with regrets. I want to look back and see that I followed the Lord, that I helped others when they were in need, and lived a life that served God.
People come into our lives for a season, some stick around for a lifetime, and others leave. Sometimes it’s hard when those goodbyes happen and we wonder what the purpose of that time was. This is honestly one of the toughest things in my adult life that I have had to learn to deal with (both personally and in ministry). I hate goodbyes. Yes, I know, “they aren’t goodbyes, they are ‘see you laters'”, but the honest truth is, when we say our goodbyes, we never know if we will see that person on this side of heaven. So live your life with no regrets. Make wise decisions. Take risks because you know it’s a step of faith and God is in control. Make care-free decisions that create laughs and memories.
Listen. Learn. Teach. Love. Forgive. Cry. Have faith. Tell stories. Be brave. Volunteer. I’m preaching to myself friends! Let’s do this together. In this ever-changing world, let’s shine the light of Jesus on this place, because our time on earth is short.
Come now, you who say “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make profit” – yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:13-14)
Kristi Moore is a CBF Leadership Scholar and 2nd year M.Div. student at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C. She is currently serving on staff as part of the Youth Ministry team at Grace Community Church in Raleigh, N.C., and has been serving in youth ministry for 10 years.