An early love in my life was that of reading, I’ve long said that a good book is like going on vacation at minimal cost. Although my tastes have changed I do still love to sit and read and one of my favorite authors is Charles Swindoll. I don’t recall ever not enjoying one of his books, he is one of my ‘go to’ authors when looking for a book on a particular subject or simply for something new to read. Years ago one of my brothers had on his end table in the living room “Living on the Ragged Edge” by Charles Swindoll. A book digging into Ecclesiastes, a diary of King Solomon, I added it to my small library and here it is years later, I find myself just now pulling it from the bookshelf and reading it, I guess it is finally time.
Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes - Solomon talks of how there is a time for everything; the corresponding chapter 5 of “Living on the Ragged Edge” it titled, “Do you know what time it is?” as he does so well, Pastor Swindoll digs into the topic.
He quoted Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and I found the quotes quite profound still in these times. I must first say I had never heard of him; according to Wikipedia he is a “Russian novelist, historian, and short story writer. He was an outspoken critic of the Soviet Union and its totalitarianism and helped to raise global awareness of its Gulag forced labor camp system”. Swindoll says of Mr. Solzhenitsyn “I don’t believe he walks on water and I certainly realize he is far from perfect, as we all are, but I do think you would agree he’s a wise and seasoned man”.
Mr. Solzhenitsyn was interviewed in the Wall Street Journal and he was asked “What hope is there for the West?”:
“The time when the West could save itself by its own exertions may already have passed. To save
itself would require a complete change in its attitude when in fact these attitudes are still going the
wrong way. … the only miracle that the people … can pray for is a profound change in their hearts.”
When asked, “Do we have a single main underlying moral ill that one can identify?” he answered:
“Besides cowardice, selfishness. We hear a constant clamor for rights, rights, always rights but so
little about responsibility. And we have forgotten God.”
Living on the Ragged Edge was published in 1995, the interview about 2 years prior to that, so here we are, 20+ years later, still going the wrong way.
It’s time, time to remember God. Time ends, when it ends where are you going? What about your children, your grandchildren… There are two choices and if you’re not sure Pastor Swindoll points us to the better of the two, he points us to Jesus Christ, “…who came to give men and women hope, forgiveness and assurance…”
John 1:12, “But to all who believed Him (Christ) and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.”
I can attest to the fact that Jesus does indeed give hope, forgiveness, assurance, eternity in my heart. I’ve accepted Him and He has never failed me.
Ecclesiastes is Solomon’s journal on the point of time and life under the sun being that like chasing the wind. As the book progresses he realizes and teaches us it is all meaningless without God.
I end with the final words of chapter 5 of Living on the Ragged Edge:
“The gift of eternal life is there to be received. So take God’s gift while you still have time. Along with Solomon’s list of contrasts, there is still one worth considering. There’s a time to reject and a time to accept. Make this your time to accept”.
Indeed, it’s time.
All quotes taken from “Living on the Ragged Edge” by Charles Swindoll