Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

February 28, 2016


While it is day, take care of business


        John tells in his gospel about Jesus meeting a blind man, then teaching his disciples a lesson about life. Jesus says, “We must do the work of him who sent me while it is day.” He went on to say that the night is coming when no one can work.

        My dad, who had an amazing work ethic, used to say after a brief break from work on the farm, “Boys, we are burning daylight; let’s get to work!” He insisted on working until the sun went down.

        Philosopher Elton Trueblood borrowed the phrase, “While It Is Day,” from Jesus and used it as the title of his autobiography, his final book. He was 74 at the time and would live another 20 years but felt it wise to sum up his life “while it was day.”

        The lesson here is that it is wise for us, no matter our age, to take care of business while the sun is shining since none of us knows what a day may bring forth. We do know that one day the night will come and our working days will be over.

        Opportunities come. Opportunities pass. Opportunities are lost. Wise we are to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way – and not burn daylight doing it.

        Malcolm Muggeridge was a journalist – and an agnostic. He became a Christian after an interview with Mother Teresa. Toward the end of his life he wrote a book titled “Confessions of a 20th Century Pilgrim.” Reflecting on the prospect of his death, he said he was not troubled about what he had done wrong, the sins he wished he had not done. He was haunted, he said, about his failure to earnestly seize the opportunities God had given him.

        Researchers at Cornell University did a survey to find out what people regretted the most. They found that twice as many people were bothered more by what they did not do than what they had done. Missed opportunities were at the top of the list of all regrets. Most regrets were from those who were afraid to take a chance and risk failure.

        Television has popularized the phrase, “prime time.” Certain hours of the day are “prime time.” When it comes to matters of eternal significance, it seems fair to say that now, this very moment, is prime time to respond to doors God has opened, to opportunities that may be lost if we dillydally around and burn daylight.

        Pastor Ron Buford tells of his mother having Alzheimer’s. She was in a nursing home and had not recognized Ron for months. Even so he went by for a brief visit every morning. One day she recognized him immediately and joyfully called his name. Ron said, “I cancelled my other plans for that morning, knowing two things: this moment may never come again, and it did not, and I knew that no one ever again might be that happy to see me.” He says, “I still remember those moments as if they happened yesterday.”

        Whatever your situation, you will be wise to take care of business while it is day. + + +