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Thursday, 17 October 2013

It's time to die!

I suspect that it is a common trait in mankind, and has been since the beginning - a desire to know what the future holds.  However, I do wonder how many wish to know the exact time of their physical death!  Yet this, apparently, is the purpose of a new timepiece - not yet on the market.

The Tikker watch will, reportedly, arrive with an instruction manual, and a questionnaire designed to estimate how long the wearer is scheduled to live. Once this expiration date is determined, it can be programmed into Tikker. The death watch then literally counts down the seconds to the wearer’s demise  while, simultaneously, displaying the current time.

It's an interesting concept.  However, it leads to a number of thoughts.  The most obvious one is that it does not, indeed, cannot, take into account accident, disease, or violence.  The second is that only the One Who, from His vantage point of eternity, sees all of our time simultaneously, knows the precise moment of an individual's death.

However, the third point, and that which is given by the creator, is that it could make the wearer more conscious of the brevity of life.  The professed idea behind the watch is "... to encourage wearers to realize their life has an end date and that they should make the most of their lives while they have them."

Writing to the early disciples of Jesus in Colosse, Paul encouraged them to "Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time." (Col. 4:5).  To the Corinthian believers he wrote: "Working together with [Christ], then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain.  For He says, 'At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation.'  Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (II Cor. 6:1-2).

There are many references in the written Word of God to time, as we experience it.  The Bible is clear that time is has a beginning.  For example, in the soaring benediction at the end of Jude's pastoral letter, we read: "Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of His glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever." (Jude 24-25; emphasis added).  That it has an end is clearly implied by Paul: "... He has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of His will, according to His purpose which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth." (Eph 1:9-10; emphasis added).

Of course, even Albert Einstein worked out that time has a beginning and an end and, to the best of my knowledge, not even as eminent a physicist as Stephen Hawking has disagreed with his conclusion.  It is, in fact, created.  The important thing is to use it wisely, not to 'count down the days'.

The hymn-writer wrote: "My times are in Thy hands.  My Lord, I wish them there."  At some point, each one of us will die - regardless of any Tikker watch - or time will end.  Be certain you are prepared for what comes next - and it isn't annihilation!

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