off

832 Weekends

This week a clip of young athletes (approximately 1-5 years old) made its rounds in cyberspace. Focusing on the 2032 Olympics, it reminded parents that only 832 weekends remain to prepare their children for those games. Use your time wisely!

But some face far fewer than 832 weekends – of life.

For some, this might be the last weekend of life. Today’s obituary page proves the point.

If someone ran a clip that told you how many weekends you have left before facing eternity, what would you do this weekend?

Perhaps some parents began plotting for the athletic success of their children – and are dedicating the next 832 weekends to bodily development. Great. “Bodily training is of some value.” (1 Timothy 4:8) Unfortunately, many cling to the part of the passage while ignoring what follows: “godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

Giving up legitimate opportunities for the physical development and personal discipline offered through athletics would be poor stewardship. But can replacing one of the primary, God-ordained means of spiritual growth for physical development be justified? Culturally, it is understandable that gathering with other believers takes second (or third or fourth . . .) place – church has become a take-it-or-leave-it option. But for genuine followers of Christ, no such option exists. “Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:25) This command is placed right along with the command to cling to our confession of Christ. This command holds a place in Scripture because God knows the propensity of the human heart.

Each weekend we find ourselves confronted with a choice. What will set the priorities? What will be gained or lost?

You might have 832 weekends left – maybe more, maybe less. Will devoting them to bodily training in place of spiritual growth be worth it in eternity? If this was your last weekend together, would you want to be remembered for being at an athletic facility or for worshipping the eternal God of heaven together?

Many parents receive appropriate accolades for the investment they made into developing their children into fine athletes. These examples inspire us and challenge us. Ultimately, the accolades a godly parent desires proceed not from man’s mouth but from the throne of God. God calls Christian parents to rear their children first and foremost “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) No worldly priority – sports, academics, fun, or even family – ought keep godly parents from exemplifying the priority of the gathered church week in and week out.

What priorities will be instilled in your life and home in 832 weeks?

832 weekends for __________.

832 weekends preparing for eternity.

Go.

About the Author
Nathaniel Pringle serves as the pastor of Eastside Community Bible Church, Milford, Ohio. His goal is to fulfill the commission in Titus 2:1, "But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine." (ESV)