“The Hourglass of Life”

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.There was a time in my life when all my priorities were out of order. However, I was very unaware of those shortcomings until I started seeing my life swirling around as if it were in a whirlpool. I spiritually swam myself to safety and began to reevaluate my fate. When I asked myself how this had happened, I remembered something I had heard as a novice Christian. That statement instilled a warped mental impression of what the ministry really is. I remembered listening to a boastful young pastor declaring that he was so committed to the ministry that he had accepted a speaking engagement on his honeymoon night. At that time, I thought he must be a dedicated man of God. I now realize that he was missing God by a country mile, because his priorities were out of order.For years, I esteemed my pastoral ministry and church above everything else in my life, sometimes even God. I had unknowingly established a doomed lifestyle. I had placed the ministry above the mission and I now know that will never work or produce fruit for God’s Kingdom. I had put the “I’ve got to’s” above the “God’s want to’s” in my life. I positioned the local church and the ministry above God, above my wife, my children and above my personal time with the Lord. I’ve since learned that when your value system is out of order, everything and everyone associated with you suffers. As I began to peel away the layers of my mixed-up life, I saw that it was me that was out of sync rather than everyone else. Before the scales of deception fell from my eyes, all I saw were people that appeared uncommitted to God by not being committed to the church. I was unable to distinguish that the cause of Christ and commitment to the local church were two different facets of ministry.The sand was sifting through the opening of my life’s hourglass rapidly and I had to do something fast—I prayed. I prayed for the Lord to help me put things in proper order. First, God had to become number one in my life if anything else were to fit into my life’s purpose. I had to humble myself and ask Him to allow me the chance to change before all the sand was drained from the top to the bottom of my life’s hourglass. I was ashamed as the Father began to reveal all the wasted days and wasted ways that led to nowhere. He gave me the opportunity to change.It wasn’t easy to let go of my self-motivated, performance-oriented lifestyles, nonetheless, when I surrendered to Him, the Holy Spirit started directing my every move. God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit became my pivotal point and everything else had to revolve around them. Next, after God, came my wife; I must never elevate or esteem anyone or anything above her–not our children, not our grandchildren, and certainly not my job. If I were going to accomplish what God purposed for my life, then my wife, Mollie, had to be by my side standing with me as one. Then after my wife, came my children and my grandchildren. Bringing up the rear was my job, which for most of my adult life, I had held in first place.

Since getting my priorities in order, my purpose has now become focused. First, I am to be a loving, caring and committed husband; one that leads his wife as the Lord directs. I am to be a godly example and father figure to my family. Last, I am to be a caretaker of all the Father has so graciously entrusted with me and be a good provider for my family. I am still watching as the sand sifts through the hourglass of my life, but that has become one of the least of my concerns. I am now living and loving life to its fullest and very aware that when, “My hourglass of this life runs out of sand, I will not be able to turn it over again.” I think I’ll go tell Mollie how much I love her and then I’ll call the kids tonight.

Father, I thank you for the opportunity to serve You in the 3ABN Pastoral Department and for all the necessary priority adjustments.

  Pastor Hal Steenson
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