“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die…” Ecc. 3:1

He was one of my best friends. I miss him so much.  We used to take walks together every day I was in town.  Every morning he would greet me with a smile, wag his tale, and wait for me to open the blinds so he could look outside.  Duke was a magnificent dog and a constant companion.

Some of you may remember me writing about Duke almost a decade ago. He was the one who always liked to make new paths through the yard instead of following the same old path.

Duke became ill during the last months of 2005 and we had to put him to sleep in December. He was somewhere between13 and 15 years old, old for a large dog, especially one that had a very hard couple of years before he came to live with us. That was a very special day in the Easum house.

We were privileged to be loved and adored by Duke for a little more than a decade. Then he was gone. One month he seemed fine; the next he went downhill; and the next he was gone. Think about it – a little more than ten years.  Life is so fleeting and short.

I had dinner with our daughter the other day.  She turned 50 this year, imagine that. During our conversation I asked her if there was anything that she wanted to do that she hadn’t done and if so she had better think about doing it soon. Life is so fleeting and short.

One of the things that stump me is the number of clergy today who are drifting through life doing meaningless ministry, changing spiritual diapers for aging, self-centered church members without any thought that they only go around once.  How come? How can so many give up so much?

Is the answer a paycheck.  Is it stupidity.  Is it lack of calling? Is it lack of vision? What would allow so many to be the spiritual lacky of so many.

Some suggest that much of ministry is “paying the rent” especially in the early years. I don’t buy a word of that. Life is too short to waste a minute of it paying the rent. Too many people are living and dying without knowing that they are loved with a love beyond description. We can’t waste time paying the rent.

I remember how my denomination tried to make me pay the rent. I wouldn’t do it. How can anyone keep a person from spreading the Good News? They can’t. They sent me to the arm pit of the world for two years to “pay the rent.” I went but I looked for a way to spread the Good News. I got a radio program called “The Church Looks at Popular Music.” It brought in young families and gave me a platform with the youth. And the church that shouldn’t, grew.

Don’t let any one tell you that you have to “pay the rent.”  You don’t. All God expects you to do is follow your call. When you do that you’ll sleep well at night and you’ll wind up fulfilled at the end of life’s journey.

One of the problems with youth is that people often don’t stop to think about the fleeting nature of life. None of us have enough time. It is always too short. A bad habit is pushing important things off into the distant future.  “I’ll get around to them some time.” Some time. Trouble is sometime catches up to us before we know it and then it is gone.

Here are some questions to chew on:

  • What three things do you want to achieve in life that you haven’t accomplished?
  • What promises or hopes did you and your spouse make or have when you got married that you haven’t lived up to?
  • What conversations haven’t you had with your kids that you know you should have?

Hello. Do you hear the clock ticking?

It’s time to dive in and do whatever God has put you here to do. Tomorrow’s no guarantee.

Are you ready to quit paying the rent and get on with life?

Then let me make the following suggestions.

·        Make sure that you are totally clear on your call – that is what God wants you to do

·        Share that with your key leaders.

·        If they don’t get excited and back you on it, begin the process to move on.

·        If you are in a denomination that won’t honor your call, begin the process to move on.

·        Begin to look for someone or some group to hook up with who will mentor and support you in your new journey to follow your call.

·        Then take the leap.

I know it sounds scary.  But this might be the only way for you to begin doing what God put you on the planet to do.