HeaderAn excerpt from John Ortberg’s forthcoming book, All the Places You’ll Go … Except When You Don’t refers to an online magazine that asked the question, “if you had to summarize your life in six words, what would they be?” It was inspired by a possibly legendary challenge posed to Ernest Hemingway to write a six-word story that resulted in the classic “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” The magazine was flooded with so many responses that the site almost crashed, and the responses were eventually turned into a book. Not Quite What I Was Planning is filled with six-word memoirs by writers “famous and obscure.” Here are some of the memoirs that range from funny to ironic to inspiring to heartbreaking:

  • “One tooth, one cavity; life’s cruel.”
  • “Savior complex makes for many disappointments.”
  • “Cursed with cancer. Blessed with friends.”(This one was written by a nine-year-old boy with cancer).
  • “The psychic said I’d be richer.”
  • This one was only five words: “One long train to darkness.”
  • “Tombstone won’t say: ‘Had health insurance.'”
  • “Not a good Christian, but trying.”
  • “Thought I would have more impact.”

The question is worth thinking about (use more words if you need). And the matter is worth pondering for your life in light of time, eternity, and the purpose for which God created you. God has allotted each of us a certain amount of time for which we will be accountable and that is why it is so important that we be stewards of the seasons that God has granted us.

The fact is, time spent and time wasted can never be brought back or bought back. So we must be wise in its use knowing that the time we’ve been given and the time we have left, counts forever. Let me give you 3 thoughts that I shared this week with our staff from David in Psalm 39 regarding how to approach this New Year. I think they will be an encouragement to you as well:

  1. Have Perspective about time and life… David prayed, “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days.”

Even though David had great prominence, position and power, he kept a humble perspective about life and the time that God had given him.

  1. Have Priorities about life and eternity… David said, “…man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather.”

David became enormously wealthy, yet understood that all the material things we can accumulate will not go with us into eternity. Therefore we must be stewards of things and live by spiritual priorities that have eternal significance.

3. Have Patience and trust in God’s plan… David said, “…O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.”


David refused to get ahead of the Lord. He trusted and hoped in God. We get ourselves in trouble when we get in front of God. In 2015, avoid engaging in and instigating things that may be good, but not of God.


Will you be a steward of God’s time granted to you in 2015? The clock is ticking… tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.


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