To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4 (KJV)
If you ever get to India, one of the “don’t miss” things to see is the Taj Mahal. It is the beautiful final resting place Shah Jahan built for his beloved wife. Of course, if you’re a native rather than a tourist, you might skip the Taj Mahal and prefer to visit the gravesite of Basanta Roy.
Basanta Roy will be happy to show it to you.
Mr. Roy, who claims to be 103 years old, has recently become quite the tourist destination as hundreds visit him in his hometown of Patna, India. Mr. Roy’s claim to fame is simply this; he has spent the last six years lying inside his own grave waiting to die. Of course, it’s pretty boring spending every hour of every day of every week in a grave, even if it is a nice place. That’s why, during the daylight hours, Mr. Roy cleans his final resting spot so he might be prepared for that unknown hour when death will come and reunite him with his long-deceased wife.
Over the years, I’ve seen quite a few people are doing pretty much the same thing Mr. Roy is doing. No, they don’t lie in an empty grave, nor are they waiting for death to come. That would be too extreme, too morbid.
On the other hand, there are many people who do spend their lives praying the future would hurry up and get here. There is the worker who on Tuesday is preoccupied with the coming weekend. That worker is wishing away half of his week. There is the student who, when school begins in August or September, has his eyes focused on summer vacation. Should I talk about the bride who sees nothing other than her wedding day, and the groom who is focused on the time when the endless planning and running around will be at an end? There is the mother who looks forward to the time when her children will go off to school, and the other mother who can hardly wait for her children to return.
All of these folks have one thing in common with Mr. Roy. They are longing for an unknown tomorrow and ignoring God’s great gift of today. What a contrast to the writer of Ecclesiastes who knew every moment God gives to His people has a purpose. Today, this moment, is a gift the crucified and ever-living Savior has entrusted to your care. Please, make use of it, in laughter or tears, in joy or sorrow, in witness or in prayer. Don’t let this day, God’s gift of this day, slip away unsavored and unappreciated.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, may this day be your day; may this moment be your moment. You came so I might have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10). May I give thanks for Your gift. In Your name, Amen.