Tim Throckmorton: Seizing the moment

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 10, 2023

“Lost time is never found again.” Benjamin Franklin once said!

And he was right!

Each of us can look back longingly at moments in our past where we missed an opportunity. Some, with little consequence, others perhaps, would have made a big difference in our lives.

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It was Dr. Dennis Kinlaw, the President of Asbury University who once wisely said, “a seized opportunity means a greater future, a lost opportunity means a diminished future.”

In mere moments of time, decisions made have lasting impact.

In 1776, when Patrick Henry surveyed the political and cultural landscape, he listened to the voices of objection and compromise. Ultimately, he knew in his heart the truth that inaction was unacceptable and tantamount to sin.

It mattered not what course others would take. Something must be done for the sake of liberty and for him, there was no price too high to pay. This was his moment, and he wasn’t about to miss it!

On May 10, 1940, as the Germans were beginning to attack the British and French ground forces arrayed against them, King George VI, “sent for Mr. Winston Churchill and asked him to form a government.”

After he became prime minister for the first time, Churchill wrote in his memoirs that “I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial.” Churchill’s moment had come, and he was prepared for it!

As memorable moments go, the ones of utmost importance involve Jesus. Moments when we sense that he is near and beckons us to follow him or come closer in our walk with him–these are the moments, moments we will never forget! Moments, I am convinced that an immortal remembers throughout eternity.

I guess what comes to my mind as I consider these moments is the following question or two.

When was the last time we were caught up in the moment in our walk with Christ?

When was the last time it was so real to us that we felt like we were hearing hearing Jesus speak directly to us? like he was in the same room us?

When was the last time I forgot about those around me, what they think, what they are worrying about, what they think about me?

I just sat with Jesus, listening to him, experiencing him, sitting at his feet so to speak. So many things occupy my mind, my time, and my focus, I wonder… Am I occupied enough with Him?

Perhaps we could take a lesson from Mary, Lazarus sister … “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.” How often do I more resemble Martha than Mary?

The citizens of Feldkirch Austria didn’t know what to do. Napoleon’s massive army was preparing to attack. Soldiers had been spotted on the heights above the little town, which was situated on the Austrian border. A council of citizens was hastily summoned to decide whether they should try to defend themselves or display the white flag of surrender.

It happened to be Easter Sunday, and the people had gathered in the local church.

The pastor rose and said, “Friends, we have been counting on our own strength, and apparently that has failed. As this is the day of our Lord’s resurrection, let us just ring the bells, have our services as usual, and leave the matter in His hands. We know only our weakness, and not the power of God to defend us.”

The council accepted his plan, and the church bells rang. The enemy, hearing the sudden peal, concluded that the Austrian army had arrived during the night to defend the town. Before the service ended, the enemy broke camp and left.

A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother. His father returned from church holding a palm branch.

The little boy was curious and asked, “Why do you have that palm branch, Dad?”

“You see, when Jesus came into town, everyone waved Palm Branches to honor him, so we got Palm Branches today.”

The little boy replied, “Aw Shucks! The one Sunday I miss is the Sunday that Jesus shows up!”

We can ill afford to miss the moment, or more importantly, to miss Jesus! How can I better hear His voice or know his will? By staying in the presence of Jesus! I don’t want to miss Him; I want to always be found in His presence!

For the sake of our families, our churches, and our nation, we can and must seize the moment.

Don’t miss your moment!

Tim Throckmorton is the national director of Family Resource Council’s Community Impact Teams.