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

Romans 5:6: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

God is the author of time. For what it’s worth: He created the space time continuum. In this day and age, with atomic clocks everywhere, we couldn’t help but notice that time passes slower on a Space Shuttle than on Earth. So there’s Earth time, then there’s space time. It’s God’s time. Time is allotted to us, it’s a gift. Time is short, our lifetime is brief; we’ll get the most satisfaction if we use our God-given time wisely.

If we let God into our lives and spend time with the Almighty, time bends according to my experience. It is unbelievable how much meaning can fit in a second, or how much beauty can be created within a day or how much goodness can transpire within a lifetime, with God being in my life.

God is everywhere, but He can be absent too. We have that power. We can exclude God from our daily lives, we can expel His nourishing and life-giving Spirit, and we can reject the Son of God and turn our backs to all that is wholesome and good. Such behavior will backfire and negatively affect our lifetime on Earth. A godless life is an empty life. Time seems to shrink in His absence. It’s what we refer to as wasted time. Choosing a meager diet that excludes generosity, creativity and growth, we do not experience life in its fullness. Life is for learning. We are meant to experience the wonder of life while our hearts are beating; obviously there is an end to it when our hearts stop beating; our lifetime on Earth is a limited edition.

Can a circle be unbroken? I believe so. That’s why Jesus came. He came to restore a connection that what was lost a long, long time ago, when mankind and God separated. It’s an unnatural split. God and mankind belong together. We are only complete when we’re with God. God is the energy that created us. We are most alive in His presence.

We need to return to the Source of all being to be the best version of ourselves. No force of nature can keep us apart from God when we decide to return. God engineered His plan of salvation to welcome us back home. The table is set, the place is prepared, and everything is ready. Reconciliation with the Godhead is within reach for every person on this planet.

God’s timing is impeccable. He sent His Son at just the right time. It’s thought-provoking to imagine what would have happened if God hadn’t sent Jesus at the right time – which is any time other than the time He was born in Bethlehem. What would have happened, let’s say, if Jesus was born in the Stone Age or in this day and age? Just imagine Jesus on the evening news. There is a right time for everything, and there is a wrong time for everything. God who created time never misses a beat.

Where does this leave us? Get reconnected to God and stay connected, my friend, and your horizons continue to expand, your life is full to the brim, and your lifetime on Earth is special.


There’s no such thing as time to kill
Nor time to throw away
So, once for the bright sky, twice for the pig sty
Thrice for another day

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 away from home and the circumstances of His delivery were less than accommodating.  His birth place was a stable. Yet, it was God’s timing. God’s timing definitely veers from human timing. Humans run things by the clock and by seasons.  Our days are usually dictated by work and school schedules while 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

God is not subject to any human season or time clock, but He is certainly aware of it.  We on the other hand have no way of understanding God’s timing.  We just have to roll with it and trust Him that He is always on time. This is tough for many people, especially in times when we feel our world is falling apart and answers to our prayers are needed yesterday. Suffice to say that in hindsight we can sometimes put the puzzle together and understand why things didn’t happen yesterday but today. But even if we don’t understand the sequence of our life events, let’s 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! We have to trust Him on that.

Psalm 131: 1-4: “I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.”

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)

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-3: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up.”

The fact that there is a time for every activity under heaven shows God’s broad-mindedness and wisdom.  Suppose He would not allow certain activities – would that help the world to be a better place? I can see that many would venture an emphatic yes to this question.  I’m not so sure though, because God has been there, done that. At the dawn of creation when God made the first people He asked them to refrain from a certain activity: not to eat the fruit from a forbidden tree. We know the end result and people essentially have not changed.

So God allows forbidden activities – not to make the world a better place, because the world hasn’t changed for the better outside of Eden – God allows forbidden activities for the sake of freedom. And it’s God’s wisdom, patience, and enduring love that sustain us as He gives us time, precious time, to explore and find out for ourselves why the forbidden tree yielded the fruit of death. And since God gave us time to do as we see fit allowing us to do wrong, He takes time to make things right, so mankind has a future and a hope.

God made things right by taking on our ultimate punishment, death, the promised end-result of eating the forbidden fruit. His Son Jesus who has lived before time and lives from everlasting to everlasting, He willingly submitted to the experience of death – so that humanity won’t expire. He died so we can live. He literally ceased to exist before God the Father brought Him back to life on the Third Day when Jesus rose from the grave. It’s just mind-boggling! To this effect Paul wrote to his friends in Ephesus:

“He [God] is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.”

God allows time for everything, the good and the bad, even though He’s the center of the universe and He could easily dictate every minute thing; however, He doesn’t desire robots, but He desires originality, authenticity, surprise; for the very same reason He desires us as friends, not slaves. John, remembering what Jesus related to His friends on the night of His betrayal, wrote in Chapter 15 of his Gospel:

“I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”

God treasures and fights for our precious freedom because love not freely given is no love at all.