Life has a way of not going according to plan. Perhaps illness or injury disrupted your plans for a healthy life. Perhaps a financial calamity caused you to have to work longer hours and put off retirement for a few more years than you had hoped. Perhaps you’re still single, or childless, or grieving the seemingly premature loss of a loved one.
When faced with life’s disappointments, tragedies, and sorrows, all too many folks begin to just run out the clock. Depending on the stage of life they might drop out of college, or try to find a spark in new hairdos, cars, and tattoos, or as Piper famously put it: they spend the winter years of life collecting shells.
But running out the clock of life––regardless of how young you are when you start doing so––is the exact opposite disposition which Solomon teaches us to have: “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men (Pro 22:29).” The diligent man or woman doesn’t look for the off-ramp of life, hoping simply to coast to the finish line. They are diligent, and so stand before kings, instead of standing amongst the insignificant.
Don’t simply bleed out life. Don’t run out the clock in the hopes of sneaking off the field with a win. Rather, run up the score on the hosts of darkness. When we’re told that God has good works prepared in advance for us to do, there isn’t an expiration date on those good works. Regardless of your season of life there are sinners around you in need of the Gospel, and saints in need of consolation. Look around you, where’s the battle fiercest? Where’s the need greatest? There is your assignment.
The enchanting force of the comforts we enjoy, even the blessings which our nation has received, has lulled many into the sleep of complacency, inactivity, and spending away their years with no diligence, and therefore no legacy. God summons us to a life of diligence, yet mankind hunts for a flat spot to pitch a tent of mediocrity, laziness, and “retirement.” Don’t try to mail-in your good works or just being clock-punchers. Instead, ask as David did in the face of Goliath’s taunts: “Is there not a cause?”