Acts 20: 1-6
I wonder if Paul was lonely. He sent people off to places. Everyone he poured into and cared for would eventually take off on the mission of spreading the gospel as well so they were all doomed to leave eventually. Paul poured out his life for other people and I wonder sometimes if he just wanted someone to stick around and be with him.
Change can be hard to handle. The moves, the shifts, the changes can cause a great deal of stress, anxiety, and fear in a person’s life. Things were constantly changing for Paul, though. New city, new people, new friends, new direction. He was used to change, but it had to hurt when someone he cared about left him to go onto something different, no? Read back few the last few chapters and see how many people have hosted Paul, been friends with him, worked with him and traveled with him only to leave and do something new.
How do we handle it when the people we care about and love move on?
I think Paul looked to the future. I think he knew that people were here for a season and that was okay. Instead of trying to make his moments with people longer, he tried to make them better. Instead of longing to stay in the same place, he tried to give something special to each place. For example, in this text we see after the riot, Paul spends time encouraging them, building them back up after that scary experience. He didn’t use it as an excuse to postpone his trip or bring people with him or keep things going. He simply understood that the time with this group was the time. He was going to make the most of it.
Do you make the most of the time you have? Do you live in each moment, giving your time, love, patience, and grace to all those around you? We only have so many moments. It’s like a vapor, the scripture tells us. Before we know it, those moments are gone. Make them count. Make them mean something.