O God, the protector of all who trust in You, have mercy on us that with You as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
A college athletic director sat the football coach down for an after-the-season talk. It was not going to be pleasant. The team had not won a single game. When confronted with this difficult reality, the coach responded, “But when we got to the end of the season, we still had all our time-outs!”
The coach clearly had his priorities in the wrong places. His goal was not to preserve the time-outs which were allotted to each team. After all, they are worthless once the game is over. His goal was to win games and develop the young men in his charge into being better athletes and better people.
The prayer asks God for mercy and God’s gracious rule and guidance so we may pass through things temporal without losing the eternal things. We are praying to have our priorities straight and to know what is really important. On a day of judgement, when the heavens are rolled up like a scroll and God ushers in a new heaven and a new earth, the things which the world considers important today will be like time-outs five minutes after a game is over. Unused, they have no value.
So, what are the eternal things? Paul tells us in I Corinthians 13 that even faith, hope and, knowledge will pass away. The one eternal he can see there is love. It does not pass away. Jesus tells us that even a gift of a cup of cold water given to a little one in His name will have cosmic significance. Go do something eternal today. Love a sinner, forgive, feed the hungry, and be a bit of that Light which has come into the world.