I have just been watching some cricket. For me the perfect English summer day is to sit in a deckchair and hear the thwack of a well-timed stroke out on the cricket green. But I know many people would disagree and murmur: "It's too slow a game for me." I suppose they would be more interested if every ball knocks down the wicket or is walloped for six. The ideal game would end up like that concoction of highlights that you see on television news when a test match is reported. Every moment shows either a wicket falling or someone getting a hundred. Cricket is not like that. It's not just the wickets falling and the big-scores - it's all the hard graft, the defences, the subtleties and the tension that fills up the time in between the big events.
And these make the game so interesting to me. This is exactly what happens in our own lives - there are the big events of course, but it's the days between them that really count. Our lives are full of times when nothing seems to happen except for hard graft but - as in cricket - these are the times in which we are preparing and building up for the big events. we have to learn that every day can be used profitably, however uneventful it might seem. That is why we are commanded: "Make the very most of your time (Col. 4:5) This is our responsibility before God.
In Graham Greene's place "The Living Room" there is a tragic failure of a crippled priest who is unexpectedly confronted with his young niece seeking help. Later on in the play he confesses: "For more than 20 years I've been a useless priest. I had a real vocation for the priesthood, and for 20 years it's been imprisoned in this chair. Last night God gave me my chance. He flung this child here as my knees asking for help, asking for hope. I said to God 'Put words into my mouth' but he has given me 20 years in this chair with nothing to do but prepare for such a moment, so why should He interfere? And all I said was. 'You can pray.' If I'd ever really known what prayer was, I would only have had to touch her to give her peace."
The tragedy of not making the very most of our time. No one can tell what you and I will have to face - that is why we must take every opportunity to pray and prepare, growing in God's love as we "Make the very most of our time".