Life’s arrow

The seemingly endless stress and hardship that we feel now is a tiny speck of time compared to the eternity that we will spend with Jesus. 

Katelyn Raddatz 

To us, time seems like such a definite thing. Sixty seconds from now, I expect my clock to show that one minute has passed. Sixty minutes from now, I will be one hour closer to my alarm waking me tomorrow morning. 

Because time seems so definite to us, we often complain. We complain when we’re so busy that we feel we have no time to relax. We turn to God and beg for a break. When he answers, we feel content. But then contentedness fades, and we complain again. We complain of boredom, because we don’t have enough to keep us occupied. Then the cycle repeats itself.  

Our lives are like roller coasters. They have their ups and downs, their sharp turns and dramatic changes in speed. But unlike a roller coaster’s path, which we can see in advance, we lead our lives blind, not knowing what lies ahead. We may try to map out our lives in advance, planning how we think things should go, but more often than not our path turns right when we thought a left turn would be best. Our roller coaster speeds up when we want it to slow down and slows down when we so desperately want it to fast forward. We struggle because we cannot accurately pinpoint when our lives are going to be hectic and stressful. 

To us, tragedies and sadness seem like they are such a gigantic part of our lives, but in reality, they are not.  I’m reminded of something a teacher showed our class in grade school. He used the geometric description of a ray (a line with a start point but no end point) to explain what God promises us: an eternal place in heaven. Our life begins at one point, and we die at one point. Throughout that time, we go through ups and downs. We experience things that make our lives come to a complete halt. But when life gets tough and time seems to stand still, we find comfort in God’s promise. The seemingly endless stress and hardship that we feel now is really a tiny speck of time in the big scheme of things. It is just one tiny dot on a line that goes on forever. It is nothing compared to the eternity that we will spend with Jesus. Eternity never ends; it is like the arrow on the ray that keeps going and never stops.  

God’s promise extends to our lives on this earth too. When we reach a fork in the road and we don’t know which way to turn, God directs us. Each of us can say, “[The LORD] guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). God leads us in the right direction. When we stumble off those paths, he guides us right back to them. And when we walk through the darkest valleys of life’s journey, we need fear no evil because the Lord is with us and comforts us (cf. Psalm 23:4). 

Next time you are feeling the weight of time bringing you down, remember the promise that Jesus spoke: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3). 

Katelyn Raddatz, a sophomore at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota, is a member at St. John, Sparta, Wisconsin. 



Do you have a manuscript, idea, or story from your own life you’d like to share for use in Forward in Christ or on Use our online form to share it to our editorial office for consideration.


Get inspirational stories, spiritual help, and synod news from  Forward in Christ every month. Print and digital subscriptions are available from Northwestern Publishing House.


Author: Katelyn Raddatz
Volume 105, Number 5
Issue: May 2018

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2021
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us

Print Friendly, PDF & Email