If you’re a bit older in years like me, you may remember the name Arthur Rubinstein. He was a Polish-born American pianist, and composed some wonderful music.
He is widely considered to be one of the greatest classical pianists of the 20th century. He died in 1982. But as a young man in Berlin in 1908, he was lonely, hungry, and in debt. His career was going nowhere. He felt there was nothing left for him but suicide. He had no gun, no poison, and the idea of jumping out a window terrified him for fear of breaking his legs.
So he chose strangulation with a belt. He wanted to hang himself, but in the process the belt broke and he fell on the floor of his hotel room in Berlin with a crash. Weeping he went to his piano—a man filled with sorrow and not wanting to live—and he sobbed. But he got over that terrible day, and Rubinstein never forgot the experience, instead saying to others, Make sure you love life.
Are you Having a Purpose in your Life?
This story prompted me to ask the question: what are you doing with your life? Do you love life, or hate life? Do you have an aim in life? Then there are others who don’t care, as long as they enjoy themselves—eat, drink and be merry. Proverbs 27:1 from the Bible says, “Never boast about tomorrow. You don’t know what will happen between now and then”.
The point is we don’t know what life will offer us. And so we should carefully think about life and whether we are using it well or wasting it. Abraham Lincoln once said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln’s life was cut short, but his legacy lingers to this day!
Living like there’s no tomorrow for God, will ensure that you give your life away in worthwhile causes, rather than horde it to yourself and waste it! When you think about it life is too short to be wasted and not taken seriously. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
We hear each day of accidents when innocent people are killed. They had plans, but these were interrupted by death and tragedy. James 4:14 explains it so well: “What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears”.
We cannot Save Time
I think life is too significant not be to shared. Think about it. There is so much variety and goodness in getting to share life with others, it’s not much fun living on your own. Life is too sacred, not to be invested properly. Jim Croce, a singer and songwriter, in his song, “Time In A Bottle” wrote these words:
If I could save time in a bottle;
The first thing that I’d like to do,
Is to save every day,
Till Eternity passes away,
Just to spend them with you.
If I could make days last forever,
If words could make wishes come true.
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you.
Now, there’s an idea! If someone would invent and market ‘Time Bottles’, he or she would make a mint! The problem is, we can’t save time, we must spend it. How do we spend our time? In Luke 12 we read:
So Jesus told them this story: A rich man’s farm produced a big crop, and he said to himself, “What can I do? I haven’t got a place large enough to store everything. Later, he said, “Now I know what I’ll do. I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, where I can store all my grain and other goods. Then I’ll say to myself, ’You’ve stored up enough good things to last for years to come. Live it up. Eat, drink and enjoy yourself.’” But God said to him, “You fool. Tonight you will die. Then who will get what you have stored up?”
Jesus told us to spend our time on earth wisely.
The problem with this man was he did not share his wealth. It’s a sad story of a self-focused man, trying to make his own way and secure his own future with no help from anyone, including God. The Lord Jesus does not mince words when it comes to this man, and calls him a fool!
Why? He was boasting himself of tomorrow! Full of pride, living selfishly. Full of self-presumption, he lived like there was no tomorrow in regards to his own responsibility towards men, and his accountability towards God! He did not figure God in his tomorrow! By relying solely on his own short-sighted, selfishness and pride, this man left nothing behind at the end of his life, except a pile of grain.
Unfortunately many of us think the accumulation of things equals happiness. The more you have, the happier you are. But Jesus said, “Life does not consist in the abundance of possessions”—why do so many see the purpose of money as a way to accumulate possessions for themselves?