Tag Archives: time

Week 49: Time – A Season for Everything

I woke up another year older today. Crazy how time has its strange affect on us. I’m not saying that I’m looking ahead with dread on my future, but rather with hope. 2012 will be a big year for myself and many of my friends.

We’re all in the midst of growth and change; adventure and challenge. And it’s about to get bigger, better, broader, and more unfathomable than we’ve already begun to imagine. I believe that God will be doing great things in Minneapolis; all for the greater good of His Kingdom and His glory…not our own.

I was combing through some items I wrote a while back and came across the following. It fits quite nicely with how I’m feeling/what I’m facing this week.

Time. Why is it that there seems to be a sudden change, a shift rather, in the time one knew as a child to that which we see as adults? I can remember when I was a little girl, I had all the time in the world. Although the lives of my dolls lasted only a few weeks, if not days, before they too moved on to a place I called Barbie heaven, my days seem to last forever — full of freedom and no responsibilities.

As I got older, time sped up with each passing year. Then came high school. Gone were the days of boundless freedom and my carefree attitude. More responsibility was laid at my feet — a part-time job along with the family business — sporting events — concerts and drama productions — practices and such. Senior year brought with it college visits, ACTs, applications and prep. I was going to be an adult…

College flew by – there are still days that I wish I was still there. Four and half years of my life dedicated to post-secondary education. Time had been equally shared between homework, CRU, work, friends and classes…not to mention the occasional sporting event. As graduation approached, I found myself earnestly searching for a job…a full time job with benefits. I also found myself planning a moving trip…just 50 miles south of where I had gone to college.

Now, I find myself in the real world. I hold a lead agent position with a great company. Days run together so often, I find myself forgetting when a certain event/issue happened. By the time Friday rolls around, Monday seems as though it occurred eons ago. What is with that?

It’s amazing at how fast time seems to slip on by…and I have to force myself to stop just to catch my breath. Time…seamless and sometimes, seemingly endless. Adults complain that they don’t have enough of it and the young and elderly abound with it. I’m beginning to understand the first part of that last sentence…eight hours in a day are not enough to get all of my work done at times. A recent event my life brought that to a halt.

Time. We’re only promised what God’s plan entails for each human being before we’re called home — that is, for those of us who chose to believe and follow Him. I recently lost a loved one to a long battle with cancer and am reminded at what little time we and hat we are not promised tomorrow. We’re only promised this moment….now. I refuse to fall trap to the day-to-day living that I see in the lives of those around me. I’m called to rise above it…I only pray that God will guide me as I step forward on that note. It is also with a farewell (for now) that I leave you with a poem, written by the hand of God.

Ecclesiastes 3
A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.
Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.
And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
I thought in my heart,
“God will bring to judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time for every deed.”
I also thought, “As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?

In His Hands

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

We are all creatures of habit, aren’t we? Whether those habits are beneficial to us – or even if we regret them time and again – we tend to repeat the same behaviors day after day:

  • Pausing to think about brushing our teeth in the morning and opting for a quick rinse before running out the door.
  • We reach for the brownie in our pantry, even though we’re aiming to lose weight.
  • We camp in front of the TV most evenings, even though we want to be the kind of person that goes for walks or reads books.
  • We leave things lay where we last used them, even though we long for uncluttered surroundings.
  • We buy a new Bible, thinking that just seeing it will propel us to dig into God’s word more. Two weeks goes by and it’s still sitting on the shelf.

We want to be the person God is calling us to be. We use January to make resolutions for the new year. We give voice to the longings of our hearts to be different; to be somehow better. We decide to give a heartfelt go at changing our lives.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a move in the right direction. However, the Bible advises that we check our plans against the Lord’s, and then to ground our commitments in His truth and power in order to succeed.

Commit to the Lord our works.

How easy it is to forget to do that. It’s easy to forget that we can pray with our kiddos over their schoolwork and commit that to the Lord in prayer.

It’s easy to forget that God cares about the things we care about. The housework that needs to get done, the groceries that need to be bought, and the time we want to invest in our marriage and our friendships.

We don’t even give it another thought when we plan a vacation or look to buy a new home. A new car purchase can be stressed over…but is it prayed over?

God cares about it all. He wants us to seek Him in it ALL.

Remember, in order for the Holy Spirit to facilitate God’s work and purposes in us, He must first redefine our definition of reality, and our priorities.

You may currently believe (or think), and your current actions demonstrate, that you don’t have room in your already packed schedule to pursue God the way you want to. The world has convinced you that you’re too busy to set aside even ten minutes per day to read His word or time to get involved in a Bible study without giving up something else. But is that really true?

“God has given everyone enough time to seek Him. It is there,” says Francis Frangipane, “Those who would find God, find time.” For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

When a favorite TV show comes on, we find an hour to devote to watch it. When a favorite store announces a big sale, we find time to go (even though we really may no need to). When a friend wants to meet for coffee, we find time to meet with her. We find, or “make” time, all the time! So rest assured that if you live a healthy, God-honoring life, there is plenty of time to grow in your knowledge of, and connection with your Creator.

It is true that in our busy lives, we cannot do everything. But we can choose what will absolutely get done. We get to choose what we will do first. Scripture gives us a picture of this. Jesus calls His followers to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and then He promises we will have all we need (Matthew 6:33).

It is also true that our willpower is limited. Our dedication wanes. Our intentions are good but our follow-through is shaky. We don’t have what it takes to revolutionize our entire lives. But God does — and He lives in us. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3, NLT).

You absolutely have time to spend 10 or 20 minutes a day getting to know God and His promises for you in His Word. You also have the extra eight seconds it typically takes to put an item back in its place. Watch one less TV show a night and you’ll have created time to read three or more books every month, and take a brisk walk after dinner. Seek God first – time after time – and you’ll even have the power you need to put down the brownies.

And your plans will succeed. They will work out. Everything will fall into place – just as it should be. Because our priorities were placed in the right hands. With the right person. At the right time.

We are creatures of habit – let’s make it our habit in 2011 to seek God first each day and commit our plans to Him. I think we will marvel at the results, time and again.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will facilitate God’s work and purposes in yours. That He would redefine your definition of reality, and your priorities.