Opinion

Work in daylight, prepare for nightfall

So, in the house we are currently leasing, the master bedroom faces the morning sun. Which means I am very aware of the sunrise. This is not normally a big deal, as in the winter months I get up long before the sun does. But in the summer, especially on Saturdays…, well let’s just say I have no other place I need to be at 5:35 AM. This awakening is amplified by having only blinds on the windows rather than curtains where the light can be stymied from sneaking around the edges.

But, I will have to admit, one can get a lot more done each day when enjoying the almost 15 hours of daylight that summer affords, compared to the nine and half hours we get in the middle of winter. Of course, most of us have electricity and are able to compensate by utilizing artificial light, but there is something different about the daylight, something motivating. Which is why wise people say things like…“make hay while the sun shines.”

The Franks family, like yours, is reaping the benefits and enjoying the summer. There are baseball/soccer games to attend, lakes to boat on, later park hours at Silver Dollar City to enjoy, and plenty of time to mow the yard after work. But, it is also a great time for pursing your goals.

My wife has just finished a month of summer school in her pursuit of her PhD, followed by a two week certification course, my oldest works the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift as a human robot at a local warehouse, my youngest is now a professional power washer to earn some spending money and help with college, and I get to travel on Sundays to help some of our pastors who are taking a well-deserved break. This summer I have found we are on the move more than ever.

Now Jesus mentioned something along these lines, when he spoke about working while it was daylight, because night was coming. (John 9) Now, of course, He was not talking about summer, He was talking about the limited time He was spending on earth. He was laser focused on His journey to the cross in order to pay for our sin and put into place salvation for all who repent and believe. (Mark 1)

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But, I think we can learn something from His sense of urgency. We, too, will be spending a limited time on earth and how we live our lives every day matters. And of that limited time, we will spend a limited portion of that time earning income. Many of us will work for 40 years and live another 20 or even 30 after we retire from full time work. Therefore, we must be very wise to take every opportunity to prepare for the nightfall.

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The good news is you can begin today. Of course, it begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you do not have one, the Bible says you really don’t have life. So reach out to a trusted friend, a local congregation or even reach out to us to make sure.

Then, as you begin to tell everyone you know about this new relationship, start taking steps to prepare for your earthly future. Like, spending less than you are earning and paying off your debt so you can start saving and preparing for retirement. Or maybe you have planned well and wonder how best to leverage those resources for something that will outlast you.

We have resources to help you make a plan for your future and discover the possibilities. But start today. Summer won’t last forever, no matter how early the sun rises.

Dr. Neil Franks serves as the President of the Missouri Baptist Foundation. He lives in Columbia with his wife, Kendra, and two sons, Nathan and Travis. He travels the state helping ministries manage money and people plan the ministry possibility their resources can provide



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