Years ago I heard about an odd work of modern art. The artist attached a chair to a loaded shotgun—with the barrel pointing at the chair. The gun had a timer set to discharge at some undetermined point within the next 100 years.
Believe it or not, droves of thrill-seekers viewed the exhibit by sitting in the chair and staring point-blank range into the gun barrel for sixty seconds. They knew the gun could fire at any moment, but they wanted a thrilling minute in the chair.
(What I would have given to sneak up and poke them in the ribs and yell, “BOOM!”)
Most of us would never dream of taking such a foolish gamble. And yet, how often will we toy with the future by counting on a future that may never happen?
The proverb offers wisdom with a warning:
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth (Proverbs 27:1).
A person “boasts” about tomorrow when he or she assumes it will come. But the future remains shrouded in mystery. We cannot know “what a day may bring forth.”
Putting Off Your Most Important Decision
We boast in the future when we think: Someday really soon I’ll choose to follow God. This is what happened when Jesus once told a man to follow Him. Look at the man’s response:
Permit me first to go and bury my father (Luke 9:59).
This guy put off following Jesus because the world offered a more pressing priority. Do you find yourself distracted by the world’s demands for your time?
- You know Jesus died for your sins.
- You realize that apart from faith in Jesus alone you will miss heaven.
- Yet you still delay giving your life to Him.
In light of the fact you don’t know what will happen after today (or the next five minutes), what could possibly be more urgent?
The Next Day in Today’s Terms
One of the songs from the Broadway musical, “Annie,” has these lines:
Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya tomorrow! You’re always a day away!
I never understood the logic of those lines. If it’s always stays “a day away,” why should I act so happy about it? Why would I bet my bottom dollar on something that never comes?
Some facts about the future:
- We will seldom do tomorrow what we refuse to start today, because tomorrow is just another today slathered in procrastination.
- If we ever take action on biblical priorities, it will have to be at some “now” moment.
- The reality of “tomorrow” never comes. It’s always a day away—and so, it becomes a safe place to boast. It never becomes reality. You can do nothing with tomorrows. You can only live with biblical priorities today.
Putting Off Your Biblical Priorities
As Christians, the temptation to boast in tomorrow still lingers. After all, if our eternity is secure, who cares about tomorrow? It really comes down to how much we love the Lord and want to obey Him.
How often do we convince ourselves that “someday” we’ll devote ourselves to biblical priorities:
We truly believe that if circumstances would change (and one day they will; they really, really will), then we would be free to do what we should.
- When the hours slow down at work
- When our “to-do list” diminishes at home
- When we get more money
- When things get better
But think about it for a moment. Haven’t you been telling yourself this for years?
Circumstances will never present themselves favorable for biblical priorities. We have to choose how we’ll spend our time.
One day, that shotgun goes off for all of us. We aren’t promised a tomorrow.
Tell me what you think: What have you put off for years that you should start doing today? To leave a comment, just click here.