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We Must be about the Father’s Business

(And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? Luke 2:49)

“Tonight I’m going to party like its 1999”or so says Prince in a song from his 1982 album by the same name.

As a teenager growing up in the 80’s I used to listen to this snappy pop tune and think about 1999, but never really expecting that year to arrive. I mean think about it. When your young and you have your health, it seems like you have the whole world before you and like time is just standing still. 1999 seemed so distant, so futuristic. Certainly, I would never see that year.

However, Friday I just celebrated my forty second birthday. It is now the year 2012 and 1999 is just a bleep in the past. It seems as I get older that I can hardly remember what 1999 was all about. I know many times that I have been sitting around with my wife and discussing something that happened around ten years ago and we have to really think about what the year was when the events in the discussion actually took place.

Now I know that I am not the only one in this world that is aging. I certainly am not the only one suffering from memory loss. Time seems to stand still only when your young and then as you get older, it seems to evaporate rather quickly. But as I am reminded by James, in the book that bears his name, that life is like a vapour that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. As I get older I began to understand this more intimately.

Now I know that you are probably thinking, “O brother. I have to sit here and read this little blog post and be reminded that I am aging. It’s not like I don’t have all the muscle aches, fatigue, and possibly hair, hearing, and eye loss to prove it. Now this writer of blogs is going to remind me. What a jerk.”

Well my intent in writing this is not particularly to remind you of your aging body. It is not to remind you of your or my graying head, arthritis, corns, or bunions. But yet again it is. I want to remind us all that when we pass this life and we are laid in the ground, that a marker will be placed over us. On that marker will be two dates. One date will mark our birth, while the other will mark our departure from this world. Right in the center of them two dates will be a dash. The purpose of this small article is to speak about that dash.

When the world walks by your grave, your whole life will be represented by that single dash. It doesn’t matter whether you lived twenty years or eighty, your life will still be represented the same way and that is by a single dash. That dash will not tell anyone whether you were faithful to the gospel or whether you lived the most corrupt life that anyone could ever live.

As Christians I am calling us to remember that our life is short and that while here we must be about the Father’s business. We must live a life that will be remembered, not by simply a dash, but by a life that was consistent about the things of God. Jesus calls us to “Let our light shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father in heaven.” This is a command and not simply a suggestion. We are to glorify God in all we do. Whether we eat or drink, Paul says, we are to do all to the glory of God.

I am thankful for the life that God has given me by being born into this world. I am also thankful for the new birth or second life that he has given me, by being born into the family of God. But this is what makes me want to leave something besides just a dash. I do not want people to know my life so that they can praise me. O no, I want them to know my life in order that they can praise my Father who gave it to me.

The writer of Ecclesiastes laments the fact that the fool and the wise go the same way at the end of their lives. He states that there is no more remembrance of a wise man, than there is of a fool, seeing that future generations will have forgotten either one of them Ecclesiastes 2:16. Some believe that Solomon wrote this book and if that be true, then certainly the things Solomon done were remembered because they were recorded in the Bible.

Now as I close this, I understand that all of what we do will not be written down in no earthly book, but nevertheless what we do will be remembered by those around us. They will remember it until they die. So my prayer is that we all live a life above reproach in order that our Father may be glorified. In order to do this………..we must be about the Father’s business.

Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.

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