The Gift of Time
I do not consider time as being my friend! It never has been, and I don’t believe it ever will be. There doesn’t ever seem to be enough minutes in an hour, enough hours in a day, and enough days in the week for me to stay on top of things. I realize that I do bear some responsibility in the matter, and I can hear a little voice echoing, “plan, plan, plan; cut back; cut back, start a little earlier.” I can’t argue with that. But it seems that no matter how much I plan, no matter how many activities I weed out, and no matter how early I start, things tend to fall behind. I remember when my children were young, especially on Sunday mornings. I’d have the kids bathed the night before, breakfast assembled, clothes laid out for everyone, the Bibles by the door. It would look as if I would be able to drop the boys off at Sunday School and the girls at the nursery, get to choir rehearsal early, and be able to chat with the gals in the alto section, maybe even say hello to a soprano or two. Well, guess what? The baby would decide that not only she should expel the previous three feedings at that moment, she would make sure it was well outside the diaper area, in her bouncy seat, down in her shoe – you get the picture. By the time we did a clean up and a change, I was huffing and puffing to get out the door. As the kids got older, the rush remained, it just took different forms; the dog would get loose, the keys would be inexplicably lost, someone would hit their head, toe, elbow – it didn’t really matter. It all added up to a late start, a frustrated husband, and a race to our destination. Here is a more recent example.
Last month our Christmas plans changed drastically at the last minute. Instead of heading to Texas to visit our daughter and her husband, they decided to come home so that our son who lives here and could not spare much time away from work would have company throughout the holiday weekend. They had just been blessed with the news that they would have the entire weekend off, so it made sense to have them come our way. This altered arrangement came on the heels of three weeks of traveling for us as well as almost an entire week of representing Godstruck Ministries at our local military exchange. I had done some decorating, but more set up and food preparation was required, as another last minute plan came into play. It was decided we would host a gathering of relatives and friends in Colorado on the 26th so they could see the kids during their visit.
My husband had a doctor’s appointment on the 22nd, and we were going to follow that with some errands and our major grocery shopping run so that the rest of the week could be spent at home getting everything else ready. The only problem is that our car didn’t get the memo. After the appointment as we were on our way to do the planned errands, the car repeatedly just stopped dead, once in traffic on a main thoroughfare. At that point my husband put on the flashers, got out of the passenger seat, opened the driver side door, motioned me out, got in and turned the car around to head for the dealership. Immediately when we arrived, our mechanic let us know that they were booked up and backed up for days, and whatever the problem was would likely cause the car to spend its Christmas weekend in the shop. We sat for quite a while in the waiting area until our son could come and rescue us. When we got home we stayed put as my husband needed to rest.
Although we enjoyed the blessing of a wonderful service at our church on Christmas Eve and the company of our son, daughter and son-in-law on Christmas Day, I experienced the domino effect from our malfunctioning car all the way up until the gathering on the 26th. There were many things I opted to eliminate, rather than struggle with even more to do. In regard to those things that absolutely needed to be accomplished, thankfully, my very sweet friend, Cindy, came early to help us finish before the rest of the company arrived.
There are so many things to be learned from this incident, but one thing has continued to occupy my mind and my heart: I am so grateful that while I have my issues with time, my God is timeless. Time does not confine nor define the Lord. His Word explicitly tells us that He is eternal, “the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the beginning and the end,” Revelation 22:13 (ESV). Isaiah 57:15 (ESV) calls Him “the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy.” Psalm 90:2 (ESV) says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
In the account of creation in the book of Genesis, God gave us time when He divided darkness from light, day from night on the first day, and He created the lights in the heavens as markers for seasons, and for days and years on day four. As the creator of time, He also controls it, but He does not live by its dictates. Psalm 90 states, “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night,” Psalm 90:4 (ESV). 2 Peter 3:8 (ESV) basically says the same: “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” So while in His wisdom and His care over us God knows that time is a necessary component of human lives, He lives above time and dwells in eternity where He is preparing a place for those who know Him to come and live with Him.
Now that I have been able to think about it, I believe I need to amend my very first statement. Time is my friend because it is a gift from God and part of His creation. When things don’t go quite right and I feel as if time is running away from me, perhaps I need to just continue to view those situations as an opportunity to trust and allow God to bring about the results that He desires both for me and for those around me. Anytime I turn my time over to the Lord is time well spent. May your time be God’s time all throughout this year!
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