We have all been exposed to short timers, haven't we? You know the folks --they have decided to quit and already planned to move on to greener pastures. From the moment they make the decision, (whether they have officially given notice or not), both the quality and quantity of their work begins to slide downhill. They usually develop a rebellious, defiant and entittled attitude. "What are they gonna do, fire me?" becomes a favorite phrase. There is no more loyalty to their employer, no more pride in their work and their only motivation is getting out. They have a seeming disregard for their reputation and have forgotten they are still under contract or verbal agreement to give this employer their best.
It seems to me that some who have been in the church for many years have developed "short-timer" syndrome. These short timers are not necessarily elderly, but most of them have been in the church for quite some time. Once, they were really involved, working to bring others to Christ, working to mature and equip the saints, but recently, both the quality and quantity of their "work" has been sliding downhill. They have taught classes before, now they don't. They hosted home Bible-studies, but not anymore. They were involved in benevolence, funeral cares, baby showers, men's business meeting, church committees, door-knocking, etc. but . . . not anymore. "I did all that, now the new people can do it." has become a favorite phrase. They truly believe they are going to heaven. They have done their duties and now they are just sitting on the pew, waiting for the Lord to come, looking to greener pastures.
God, our Employer, our Master, our Redeemer, never intended us to sit and rest, and simply wait for Jesus' return. He wants us to work right up to the moment He comes. He wants us to do everything in our power, by His power, to do His will. (His will according to II Peter 3:9 is that no one should perish). In that very passage He uses words like "make every effort"---implying more than sitting and waiting. He expects us to continue working, continue serving, continue ministering, continue evangelizing, continue praying, continuing to press on, straining toward the prize, to keep fighting the fight, keep running the race, until He returns. Holy Scripture tells us that even Jesus doesn't know when that day will be. But, we know when He comes, He will take us home with Him. Until then, our work on earth is not over. And we don't get to say when it is over--only He does.
We have given our notice, we are looking forward to our new life, our new home, our new job.They say "home is where the heart is" and this world is not our home. But for today, planet Earth is where we work. For today, our focus must be the lostness of the world around us. We cannot quit until our last day here. There should be no "short-timers" in the church, only the hardworking faithful, working for the Lord until time is no more.