This morning we stand on the threshold of a new year. If you’re like me you ask yourself the question where did 2017 go. Whether we like it or not life pushes us along before we know it a year turns into two and two into a decade and a decade into a lifetime. So what are we doing with the life we’ve been given, are we simply counting time or are we investing the time we’ve been offered. It reminds me of an old story I once read of economist E. F. Schumacher.
During World War II, then a young statistician, worked on a farm. Each day he would count the 32 head of cattle, and then turn his attention elsewhere. One day an old farmer told him that if he only counted the cattle, they wouldn’t flourish. Sure enough, one day he counted only 31; one was dead in the field. It was that morning that Schumacher came to understand the farmer: He had said simply this “you must watch the quality of each beast. “Look him in the eye. Study the sheen on his coat.” You may not know how many cattle you have, but you might save the life of one that is sick.
There’s some advice in there for all of us, advice that the apostle Paul gave centuries ago when he challenged us to be active in “Redeeming the time because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16