Seventy years are given to us!
Some even live to eighty.
But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble;
soon they disappear, and we fly away.
“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
At first glance this looks like any old clock, however, one full rotation of this clock is equal to the average human lifespan (82 years).
The clock, designed by Bertrand Planes, uses an ordinary clock slowed down 61,320 times to make each minute equal to one year.
We must be very careful how we live because our time on this earth is limited.
December 27th, tomorrow is the last Sunday in this current year, 2009
As you look back over the past year, are you satisfied with how you have spent your time. How about in the context of your lifespan? I am 44 years old and according to expected lifespan I am more than half way there, to the 82 years.
Are you satisfied with how you spend your time?
Does it count for eternity?
I know that not everyone is called to be a Preacher buy I want to share with you some of a biographical sketch of the founder of Methodist, John Wesley. I share this because it appears this many had a lot to accomplish and he knew his days were numbered.
June 17, 1703 — March 2, 1791
The following brief Biographical Sketch of John Wesley is taken from the following sources:“John Wesley and His Doctrine” by W. MacDonald; Life of the Rev. John Wesley by Joseph Benson; and Life of John Wesley by John Telford.
Mr. Wesley was styled “the mover of men’s consciences.” His preaching was simple—a child could easily understand him. There were no far-fetched terms—no soaring among the clouds. All was simple, artless and clear. He declares that he would no sooner preach a fine sermon than he would wear a fine coat.
His Travel was immense
John Wesley averaged, during a period of fifty-four years, about five thousand miles a year, making in all some two hundred and ninety thousand miles, a distance equal to circumnavigating the globe about twelve times. It must not be forgotten that most of this travel was on horseback. Think of riding around the globe on horseback twelve times!
His Preaching was immense
John Wesley preached not less than fifteen sermons a week—frequently many more. These sermons were delivered mostly in the open air [outdoors], and under circumstances such as to test the nerve of the most vigorous frame. He did, in the matter of preaching, what no other man ever did. He preached, on average, for a period of fifty-four years, fifteen sermons a week,, making in all forty-two thousand four hundred, besides numberless exhortations and addresses on a great variety of occasions.
A minister in these times does well to preach one hundred sermons a year. At this rate, to preach as many sermons as Wesley did, such a minister must live four hundred and twenty-four years. Think of a minister preaching two sermons each weekday, and three each Sabbath, for fifty-four years, and some idea can be formed of John Wesley’s labors in this department.
His Literary Labors were immense
While traveling five thousand miles a year, or about fourteen miles a day, and preaching two sermons, and frequently five each day, he read extensively. He read not less than one thousand two hundred volumes, on all subjects, many of the volumes folios, after the old English style. His journals show that he read not only to understand, but to severely critic his authors as well.
He wrote grammars of Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French and English languages.
He was for many years editor of a monthly periodical of fifty-six pages, known as the Arminian Magazine.
He rewrote, abridged, revised and published a library of fifty volumes; and afterwards reread, revised and republished the whole work in thirty volumes.
He wrote and published a commentary on the whole Bible, in four large volumes; but the portion on the Old Testament was rendered almost worthless by the abridgment of the notes by the printer, in order to get them within a given compass.
He compiled a complete dictionary of the English language, much used in its day.
He wrote and published a work on Natural Philosophy in five volumes, which for may years was a textbook among ministers.
He compiled a work on Ecclesiastical History in four volumes.
He wrote and published comprehensive histories of England and Rome.
He wrote a good-sized work on electricity.
He prepared and published three medical works for the common people.
He compiled and published six volumes of church music.
His poetical works, in connection with those of his brother Charles, are said to have amounted to not less than forty volumes. Charles composed the larger part, but they passed under the revision of John, without which we doubt if Charles Wesley’s hymns would have been what they are, the most beautiful and soul-inspiring in the English language.
In addition to all this, there are seven large octavo volumes of sermons, letter, controversial papers, journals, etc. It is said that Mr. Wesley’s works including abridgments and translations, amounted to some two hundred volumes.
His Pastoral Labors were immense
It is doubtful if any pastor in these times does more pastoral work than did John Wesley. He speaks frequently of these labors. In London he visits all the members, and from house to house exhorts and comforts them. For some time he visited all the Bands and the Select Societies, appointing all the class and band leaders. He had under his special care tens of thousands of souls.
To these multiplied labors he added the establishment of schools, building of chapels, raising of funds to carry on the work, and a special care over the whole movement. It may be affirmed that neither in his travels, his literary labors, his preaching, nor in his pastoral supervision of the flock of Christ, has he often, if ever, been surpassed. Few men could have traveled as much as he, had they omitted all else. Few could have preached as much without either travel or study; and few could have written and published as much had they avoided both travel and preaching. It is not too much to say that among uninspired men, one of more extraordinary character than John Wesley never lived.
His Diligent Use of Time
It may be asked, how was he able to accomplish so much? He improved every moment of every day to the very best advantage.
John Fletcher, who for some time was his traveling companion, says: “His diligence is matchless. Though oppressed with the weight of seventy years, and care of more than thirty thousand souls, he shames still, by his unabated zeal and immense labors, all young ministers of England, perhaps Christendom. He has generally blown the gospel trumpet and rode twenty miles before most of the professors, who despise his labors, have left their downy pillows. As he begins the day, the week, the year, so he concludes them, still intent upon extensive services for the glory of the Redeemer and the good of souls.”
In order to save time he, in the first place, ascertained how much sleep he needed; and when once settled, he never varied from it to the end of life. He arose at four o’clock in the morning, and retired at ten in the evening, never losing at any time, he says, ten minutes by wakefulness. The first hour of each day was devoted to private devotions; then every succeeding hour and moment were employed in earnest labor. His motto was, “Always in haste, but never in a hurry.” “I have,” he says, “no time to be in a hurry. Leisure and I have taken leave of each other.”
He makes the remarkable statement that “ten thousand cares were no more weight to his mind than ten thousand hairs to his head.” “I am never tired with writing, preaching, or traveling.”
Dr Whitehead observed: “It had been impossible for him to accomplish this almost incredible degree of exertion, without great punctuality and care in the management of his time. He had stated hours for every purpose: and his only relaxation was a change of employment. His rules were like the laws of the Medes and Persians, absolute and irrevocable. He had a peculiar pleasure in reading and study, and every literary man knows how apt this passion is to make him encroach on the time which ought to be employed in other duties: he had a high relish for conversation, especially with pious, learned, and sensible men: but whenever the hour came when he was to set out on a journey, he instantly quitted the company with which he might be engaged, without any apparent reluctance.”
“The transactions of his life could never have been performed, without the utmost exertion of two qualities, which depended, not upon his capacity, but on the uniform steadfastness of his resolution. These were inflexible temperance, and unexampled economy of time. In these he was a pattern to the age he lived in; and an example, to what a surprising extent a man may render himself useful in his generation, by temperance and punctuality.”
With all his travel, labor, and care, he declares that he “enjoyed more hours of private retirement than any man in England.” When it is remembered that all this labor was performed amid the most unrelenting persecution that ever fell to the lot of man in modern times, it must be confessed that John Wesley has had no superior among uninspired men.