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In Time for Eternity

Time is the most consistent, unbiased, and stubborn element in the entire universe. It never slows down, speeds up, skips ahead, jumps back, or stops for anyone. It marches on undeterred, faithfully moving at the same pace it has always moved, and always will move, until the last second in which it has been destined to expire by the one who set it ticking. And we, who have always sought to be its conquerors, will forever remain its helpless captives. We can either go along willingly and happily, or go along kicking and screaming as it drags us by the collar—but go along we shall. And if we think we can outwit this most unrelenting of rulers, and escape its iron-clad grip by means of death, we had better think again. On the contrary, it is at that very moment that it triumphs in its greatest victory over us. For it is then that we pen the final period of the final sentence of the final chapter of our life’s journal, and, in surrender, deliver into its gallant hand yet another completed volume—an added trophy for its vast collection. Our immutable narrative will then be proudly paraded by Time, as it steadily traverses the course of its future annals, recounting the tales of our saga, over and over again, to many of its vanquished travelers—thereby shaping their unfolding legacies, as it continues to tirelessly usher them, one by one, to the brink of eternity.

“Time is the most consistent, unbiased, and stubborn element in the entire universe. It never slows down, speeds up, skips ahead, jumps back, or stops for anyone.”

In the shadow of that enlightening reality, I have come to clearly understand that the only choice I am able to make in the matter is the type of narrative I decide to write and leave behind. As I think of my precious children, and consider the fact that at any moment my life’s journal can be instantly sealed and transferred once and for all into their care, thereby shaping and influencing the contents of their own life accounts, I am deeply sobered and provoked to live with a deliberate and unwavering focus. I must always be mindful of the fact that my every decision will have a ripple effect that will impact them and their progeny for generations to come. I must therefore be resolved to constantly live to the glory of God with a fervent and passionate vigor.

When that final period is penned in the life journal of each person who has read my own, it is my hope that some of the following descriptions will be found in the pages of their testimonies about me:

Faithful; loyal; without deceit; man of utmost integrity; humble; meek; gentle; thoughtful; considerate; sensitive; godly; sober; vigilant; a devoted Christian, husband, father, son, sibling, relative, friend, servant, co-laborer, boss; gladly submissive to authority; took good care of the temple of God’s Spirit; obeyed God’s call to rest; lived out moral excellence; conduct above reproach; consistently practiced all the Christian disciplines; modest; giving; generous; selfless; passionately loving; completely surrendered to God; gracious; merciful; compassionate; content; inspirational; unhurried; peace-filled; joyful; sincere; good listener; sought to truly understand others; understood himself well; did not think more highly of himself than he should have; slow to speak; quick to hear; slow to anger; uncompromising; diligent; decisive; good leader; good follower; good example; consistent; a lover, teacher, and vigorous defender of God’s truth; extremely forgiving; understanding; sympathetic; empathetic; complimentary; teachable; open to correction…

“I must therefore be resolved to constantly live to the glory of God with a fervent and passionate vigor.”

Cheerfully followed the example of the godly saints who had gone on before him; never shifted blame; owned up to his faults; peacemaker; impartial; governed by God; feared God; God-exalting; Christ-exalting; cross-exalting; grace-exalting; faith-filled; optimistic; hopeful; patient; kind; kingdom-minded; reasonable; sensible; wise; not wise in his own eyes; did not wallow in self-pity; never condescending; not judgmental; did not readily receive an accusation against another; always gave others the benefit of the doubt; was not jealous or envious of others; did all he could to promote the growth of others; always made it a point to communicate his appreciation to those to whom it was due; was deliberately expressive so as to bless others; was appreciative of the amazing gift of reading, so he read often; truth seeker; knowledge seeker; wisdom seeker; constantly in awe of God; always reveled in the awe-inspiring handiwork of God’s amazing creations; often sought a multitude of wise counsel; did not make big decisions in haste; tactful; diplomatic; well-prepared; organized; delightfully spontaneous; flexible; honorable; dignified; dependable; trustworthy; able to hold an entrusted secret until death, having never uttered it once in life; pure; holy; carefree; careful; caring; tastefully humorous; comforting; encouraging; contrite; approachable; welcoming; warm; hospitable; polite; sacrificing; appropriately confrontational; persistent…

Courageous; brave; did not retreat in the face of challenge; did not give up on others; not flippant; not cynical; not sarcastic; chivalrous; gracious in victory; humble in defeat; unashamed; interdependent; Spirit-filled; Spirit-led; righted all his wrongs through sincere repentance toward God and man; transparent; authentic; genuine; sincere; a faithful soul-winner who mightily strove to do his part in fulfilling the Great Commission and to inspire others to do the same; disciplined; never demeaning, belittling, harsh, or mean-spirited; principled; fervent; prayerful; worshipful; thankful; reverent; responsible; uncomplicated; deep; undemanding; thorough; provident; committed; grounded; seasoned; respectable; respectful; contemplative; meditative; reflective; loved God above all else; was often alone with God; diligently obeyed God in all things; was a lover and avid student of God’s Word; had a high view of the greatness, splendor, and majesty of God; rested and delighted in God’s sovereignty over all things; God was his greatest pleasure; God was his greatest treasure; God was his greatest delight; he always strove to enjoy God with all his heart; God was his greatest satisfaction; he constantly spoke about his marvelous God and boasted in Him greatly; he loved his neighbor as himself; considered others more important than himself; looked out for the interests of others; always placed a high value on the individual; helpful; cooperative; agreeable; knew when and how to graciously agree to disagree, agreeably…

Industrious; delighted to serve others; rejoiced with those who rejoiced; wept with those who wept; hated sin; loved righteousness; vigorously avoided gossip, slander, and backbiting; had a backbone; spoke out against sin and error with all his might; never sugarcoated the truth, but always spoke it in love; corrected others with a spirit of gentleness, being always mindful of his ability to err in like manner; always listened openly to every side of a serious issue, and did not come to a final conclusion on the matter until he had finished examining it thoroughly; was not exasperated with others who had not yet grasped certain things, or grown in certain areas that had taken him a long time to grasp or grow in, and even if it had not taken him a long time, or if after a long time they still had not “arrived,” he continued to maintain an attitude of graciousness toward them, remembering that he, at one time, regardless of the duration, had not yet arrived either; was not manipulative or coercive; was not a flatterer; was not a man pleaser; did not do anything with the motive of receiving the praises of men, but only the approval of God; was spoken of highly by most; was not spoken of highly by all; persevering; held up well under pressure and persecution; never denied Christ; edifying; always a delight to be around; practiced what he preached; was not hypocritical; temperate; self-controlled; vision-filled…

Christ-centered; mission-minded; missions-minded; lived for the glory of God; fair; focused; well balanced; thought big; dreamed big; prayed big; accomplished big things for God; left nothing unsaid that needed to be said; was madly in love with his wife; intensely loved his children; was always there for his family; whenever he could help it, he was there in time of need for anyone who needed him; knew when and how to graciously say no; was actively involved in his wife’s life; was actively involved in each of his children’s lives; defended his wife’s honor; defended each of his children’s honor; defended the weak and helpless; always kept his word; cared for the poor and needy; associated with the lowly; was not materialistic; was not a lover of the world; faithfully provided for his own; faithfully instructed and lead his family in the ways of God; was not ambitious for his own advancement or the advancement of his own agenda, but only for the advancement of God’s glory, God’s kingdom, and God’s agenda; always took the lowly seat; did not allow himself to be mastered by anything; whenever he could help it, he always finished the important things he started; his affairs were always set in order; tenaciously abided in Christ; did not have a complaining, murmuring, or grumbling spirit; walked faithfully in God’s commandments; was zealous for good works; showed his faith by his works…

Lived life to its fullest; lived in the light of eternity; lived in the expectation of Christ’s imminent return; lived as though he was always prepared to die; did not fear death; did not fear life; redeemed the time; laughed often; smiled much; did not hesitate to cry for joy and for sadness; knew how to be serious; handled disappointment well; was not defensive; did not have a quarrelsome or contentious spirit; graciously and sincerely received criticism and sought to grow from it; knew how to graciously receive a compliment, allowing the one who gave it to experience the pleasure of giving it, and yet never becoming puffed up by it, but always giving the glory to God; was always aware of the fact that God was the source of any sufficiency he had; viewed God as the source of supply for his every need and sought Him as such; handled rejection well; consistently and explicitly trusted in God; carried out things that were important to God with a healthy sense of urgency; unpretentious; made people a priority; was satisfied by and grateful for his own accomplishments, but not amused or puffed up by them, no matter how much others may have raved about them; sought to never be a burden to others; was humble enough to receive from others, allowing them to experience the joy of giving; ruled his own house well; faithfully fulfilled his role in the body of Christ at large and in his local church; used his spiritual gifts to minister to others; was readily willing to lay down his life for others; walked in God’s grace; did not use his liberty in God’s grace as an occasion for his flesh.

 

With these guideposts in view, and with God as my help, I bid my fleeting life farewell as it ventures on into Time to inscribe its history, with the sincere prayer that such an epic will be penned and bequeathed to the sons of earth, that when Time is no more, eternity will display the enduring monuments which its pages had inspired.

Emeal (“E.Z.”) Zwayne

Emeal (“E.Z.”) Zwayne is the President of Living Waters, the official spokesman for the National Bible Bee organization, and a cohost of the National Bible Bee Gameshow. He serves as the Executive Producer of the "Way of the Master" television program and all Living Waters films. A dynamic communicator, he speaks at conferences and churches nationally and around the world. E.Z. served as an associate pastor for several years. He and his wife, Rachel, have five children.

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