Isaiah 40: 6-8: A voice said, “Shout!” I asked, “What should I shout?” “Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field. The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”

The late Jimmy Griffin wrote:

“Let time stand still, life ends too soon til it’s all over – Dance on the Moon!”

We’re subject to time. There is no way around it. Time marches on like an army. We cannot stop the clock. There is no turning back, even though we like to reminisce. Very interesting movies have been created around this topic speaking about time travelers changing the past and thereby changing the future.

Now that I think about it, we are changing our future every minute when we change our minds. Though time marches on, which is predictable to the millisecond, the wild card always is people. People usually don’t march to the beat of time. There is nothing predictable about people, even though, if asked, the majority of them would like to predict their future. However, nobody can. And that’s beautiful.

Where is God in all this? He is all over the place. As the creator of time, He is present everywhere at the same time, the past, the present and the future. That’s why we say that God is in control. Our future is in His hands. I still hesitate to say that God controls our future. The way I understand Him, He likes surprises. Granted, it’s hard to surprise the Holy One who has seen everything, but why, do you think, did He give us free will? I believe He hates predictability and loves ingenuity.

Now, there is one thing predictable about life on Earth. Prophet Isaiah mentions it as he compares us to the grass of the field. Grass fades away. Flowers bloom, and then they wither and die. We all age. It is wise to keep that in mind as we go about our business. Our bodies are not wired to live on in perpetuity. Life as we know it, our earth time is limited.

However, beyond that, anything is possible on a day to day basis. All we need to do: take advantage of the time given to us. We know that life on Earth is not everything there is; there is more to come; our souls and spirits live on – but that is beside the point, because right now we are in the current chapter of our lives. Life on Earth is precious. We have so much to give, more than we are aware of, probably. We need all the time we’ve been given to live to our full potential.

If we feel we have wasted our lives, think again. Though we’re not time travelers who can go back to the past and fix things, we have a more powerful tool available: There is always time to change our minds and do things differently. Jesus makes all things new. He has the power to turn our lives around.

Last but not least, enjoy life and be thankful. Leaving this life is bittersweet. It’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s beautiful to say hello on the other side.

Isaiah 26:4: “Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.”

On the road of experience accidents are bound to happen – hopefully more happy accidents than bad ones – and yet whatever comes our way, it’s a good idea to take the time to sort through things. Not everything happens for a reason. Your birthday cake that slid off the plate and plunged down to the floor is not necessarily a bad omen for the year to come. But some things are waiting to get our attention, and we won’t notice, unless we slow down.

Ironically, if we are in the habit of rushing through life we’re not gaining time, we’re losing time. Not only could we create a bad accident putting us on hold, we are also missing out on what could have been, had we only slowed down a little bit.

Slowing down has become a lost art. We stopped walking in the pursuit of flying to get to places quicker, to get more things done. As a result, a whirlwind of activities with the force of a Hurricane is moving through our lives. Yesterday we were kids waiting with baited breath for Christmas morning. Today we are adults and before we know it, the first signs of aging begin to show up. If we haven’t learnt to slow down by then, aging will teach us a salty lesson.

I’m preaching to myself of course! Always pushing to advance to new horizons I got a lot done, but I also missed out on things important to me; I didn’t give myself the chance to settle down and have children. For a woman the proverbial biological clock is very real. I ran into that clock, and that clock outran me. However, I’m not beating myself up over a missed opportunity either. I have grieved over it, but I have also learnt a few lessons from it. One lesson for me is this: People are more important than things. I found that taking time for people is no lost time and making memories is a very rewarding activity.

Norman Milton Lear (born July 27, 1922), an American television writer and producer once said in an interview:

“How can you be jaded? Tomorrow hasn’t happened yet.”

In other words, the full scope of reality always escapes us. Unless we know the future, we just don’t have the full picture. God being the Creator of time, we are well-advised to put our time into His hands. Call on Him! Seek Him out! Drop everything if necessary. Declare a “Time Out” – whatever it takes to have this special moment with the Almighty. He will expertly guide us through each day.

Trust in the Lord! Nobody knows what tomorrow brings, but knowing the One who holds our future we all stand a better chance to be at peace.

“Slow down, you move to fast. You got to make the morning last!” Paul Simon

1 Timothy 2:5-6: “For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.”

God’s uncanny timing! Not at any given time, but at just the right time Jesus was born in Bethlehem – even though He came while His parents were on a trip far away from home and the circumstances of His delivery were less than accommodating.  Still, Jesus came at the proper time.

God’s timing definitely veers from human timing. Like clockwork our days are scheduled while our lives go through various seasons. The spring, summer, fall, and winter season of our lives represent our maturing process with its unique challenges:

1)      Spring: the challenge to grow

2)      Summer: the challenge to produce

3)      Fall: the challenge to harvest

4)      Winter: the challenge to accept that life has come to a full circle

While God is not subject to human season or time clock, He is well aware of it.  We on the other hand have no way of understanding God’s timing.  All we can do is trust in Him – knowing that God is always on time. Trusting God can be difficult in times when we feel our world is falling apart and answers to our prayers are needed yesterday.

Looking back, we are sometimes able to put the puzzle together and understand why things did not happen yesterday but today. But even if we don’t see it in hindsight, we still know that God’s timing is perfect. Remember that Jesus came at just the right time to save the world; this also means that God will always come through for you and me – at just the right time!

Psalm 121: 1-4: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

1 Corinthians 16:7: “For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.”

When I thought I would lose my Dad to Cancer, I sat down and wrote a song to process my grief. It turned out, however, that he bravely fought through the disease, and by the grace of God he is still alive and well at the time of this writing. Time is a precious commodity, in a different way than our Western philosophy understands it, which is quite business oriented: “Time is money” is a common byword here; it goes without saying that waste of time is perceived as a waste of money.

Nevertheless, once we lose a loved one or getting close to it we will be confronted with the reality that the time we share in each other’s presence is finite. We all die. At some point we won’t have the opportunity to see this person we love. All we have are memories – if we had the presence of mind to make the most of our time by investing it in people, especially in the people we love.

We cannot purchase time once it’s gone – that’s why we need to do the best we can to spend our time wisely.

Time

Time – a quite elusive thing it is!  There’s nothing one can do to redeem a moment passed once it’s gone.  Days and years try to measure the time we spent.  And looking back I’m glad I spent time with you.

Time takes its toll on each of us.  Sometimes we seem to forget how fleeting life can be. Yet your acts of kindness have left an indelible mark. Seeing the world through Jesus’ eyes has touched more than one heart.

 If today there’s a chance to love, love. If today there’s a need, don’t walk on by!

Time a precious thing to give!  As long as there’s today there’s a chance to give of your time. It’s a token of love, and may brighten someone’s day.  And looking back I’m glad I spent time with you.

There’s ageless eternity, a freedom we can’t fathom.  Jesus made a home for you, a home you’ll never leave. Heaven is forever. It’s comforting to know: today’s goodbye soon will be hello; today’s goodbye soon will be hello!

(Song lyrics by Bill and Evelyn Snyder)