Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
– Ephesians 5:15-16
As we prepare to travel to Poland, I’m reminded of the lives that have been radically and unexpectedly altered during the last hundred years of that country’s history. I wonder how many Polish citizens – especially Jews – were taken totally by surprise when Hitler’s rampage overflowed into their country in 1939? How many successful businesses and comfortable lives were crushed without warning? And in how many ways were those people a lot like us?
The war in which our country is engaged is one that rarely touches most of us. For all practical purposes, we live in a time of peace. We’re free to come and go as we please, pursue our dreams, engage in business and pleasure, raise families, or travel the world (or explore it from home). And we generally expect things to stay that way.
But the fact is that we don’t know what our lives will be like tomorrow. We don’t know what our nation will be like tomorrow. That’s hard to grasp, living in a place where change generally doesn’t happen. I’m not espousing some kind of conspiracy theory, and I don’t really expect things to literally get turned upside down tomorrow. But history has proven over and over that things often change much more quickly and dramatically than people expect them to.
This reality could lead to paranoia, or it could lead us to a sense of thankfulness and dependence and urgency. We live in a time of unprecedented privilege and opportunity. Whether that changes six months from now or stays the same way for the rest of our lives, we’ll give an account for what we did with it. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). That’s us.
We need to ask the Lord for a healthy sense of our own mortality. Not one that will throw us into a panic, but one that will wake us up, that will allow us to live wisely. I think that’s what Moses was after in Psalm 90:12: “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Only this kind of wisdom will allow us to make the most of our time. We need to remember that “the days are evil” even when the days are easy.
This idea of living intentionally and redeeming the time is one of the big ideas we’re hoping to communicate about parenting while we’re in Poland. That’s why the title we’re using for our parenting seminars is “Parenting on Purpose”. Please pray that we would both teach and learn about these things in helpful and refreshing ways. Thanks for partnering with us in this effort!