The baby let out a shrill cry as it came out of its mother. At the same time, the mother sighed with relief. Others present in the delivery room welcomed the baby and congratulated the parents. A new life began right before their eyes. To the doctor, it was just another delivery. Another number in the many deliveries of the day, month and year.
To the parents of this new baby, it is a wonder, seeing their child born. They are fascinated by the little one and filled with utmost joy. What the Yoruba would call “ayo abara bintin”. Loosely interpreted, it means “joy packaged in a tiny body or little bundle of joy”.
But there is an audience unseen. From the heavens. At the birth of the baby, the hourglass is turned in heaven. The clock starts ticking. The sand is running through to the other side. The countdown has begun.
No one knows how long this baby has to live. At this point, no one really asks. It is assumed that this baby will live long, enjoy life, achieve success, grow and nurture a family and die at a good, ripe old age, leaving children, grandchildren and maybe, greatgrandchildren behind.
The assumption doesn’t always become reality. Life does not run like that. Sometimes death early or late. Death comes at any time. Death comes as predetermined by God. That is why the hourglass was turned. Everyone has a time limit. When that time is up, we answer the call.
With all of our medical discoveries, there is one thing we are yet to achieve – holding back the hand of death on a person’s due date. Yes, we have perfected resuscitation. We can administer a dose of electricity to keep the heart pumping. We can use a ventilator to keep a person breathing. We can plug someone to the heart and lung machine. But when the Giver of Life says it is over, no one can say otherwise.
That is why the hourglass is turned over, and the countdown begins.
How fast the sand flows is not up to us. Everyone has their own hourglass. The sand is flowing in every hourglass. For some, it is going at snail speed. For some it is at medium speed. For some it is dropping fast and would soon complete its work. But we are oblivious. If only we knew!
Death is not by seniority. Death is not by age. Neither is it by colour, race, language or wealth. The Giver of Life knows how much time He has given everyone, according to His plan. According to the task He has planned for us to fulfill. When the task is done, we are immediately recalled. The hourglass empties completely and we leave.
Some get to say goodbye, but some don’t. For some, it is a long drawn out illness. For some it is an accident, swift and final. For some others it is from sleep to death, a quiet transition.
Knowing this then, what manner of people should we be? How should we live our lives? Should we with reckless abandon, eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die? Or should we with wisdom, number our days and apply our hearts to wisdom?
Do we believe that once we die, it is over? No more room for repentance, no chance to make amends?
How are we living our lives? What are we giving ourselves to? Would we be pleased when we stand before Him on the last day? Would He pleased with us?
From the moment we are born, the hourglass empties itself. The way we get engrossed in living, it feels as if we will never stop. But one day, sooner or later, we will. The last grain of sand will drop and we will have to leave this world, prepared or not.
So isn’t it good, to pay attention to our lives? Isn’t it good to review our ways and our works and see how we are conforming to God’s expectations and instructions? He is the One who sent us here. With a purpose and with a plan. He is the One we will report to, with our report card at the end of the day. It is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy. It is by heeding His call to salvation, to surrender, to obedience and to love.
He calls us today to come closer and hear His voice. His arms are wide open with unconditional love, saying, “Come to Me”. His love is beckoning. We should heed Him. If we believe that He is God and that He is there for us, we should not turn our backs on Him. We should not resist Him.
Don’t wait till the last minute, because you don’t know when that will be. Answer Him now while you still can. His love is waiting. It is an everlasting, unconditional, unchanging love. So full, so free, so satisfying!
Today is the day, and now is the time to make things right with Him. Don’t wait till tomorrow. Open your heart to Him. He waits to welcome you, to hear you speak to Him. Renew intimacy with Him. Lay down all your burdens. Let Him carry them. Receive His love afresh.
What are you waiting for?
The hourglass is pouring sand and time is flying by.
What a time we are living in, where we are daily dealing with the challenges of the pandemic and its many complications, disrupting our lives. We need God now more than ever before. My heart cry today is ‘God, I seek You. Draw me closer to Your presence. Give me peace. I come to You just as I am, in need of Your grace and mercy. Father, intervene for me. Help me, Lord.’
Do you want to pray?