But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
My times are in Your hands. Psalm 31:15.
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. John 3:8
Time changes. Ugh. If there was ever a government policy that no longer makes sense to me it’s the need to change times twice a year. ‘In theory’ we were supposed to gain an extra hour of time last Saturday night, but anyone with small children, dogs and bladders know that that’s simply a pipe dream! Monday morning I woke up with a start at 5 am, got started on my day and everything done by noon. Which is all well and good except for the numerous evening meetings that I started to nod off in by about 7:30.
And people were cranky. So cranky. Ok. Maybe I was too.
Time is a huge issue for us, isn’t it. We constantly are slowing it down or pushing it forward. We either have too much time or too little time. We are told constantly to ‘enjoy time with our children’ because ‘it goes by in a blink’ and yet, that’s a hard thing to consider when we’re pacing the floors at midnight with a howling, cranky child in our arms that has not weathered a time change very well.
We apply timelines to all sorts of things and we push time in all sorts of ways. I pretty much live my life by my day timer that has my time mapped out like a game of Jenga, with the whole thing threatening to fall if the right (or wrong) time is inserted into it. And when this time Jenga does collapse, we feel guilty; or are made to feel guilty because we aren’t ‘using our time well’.
Time pressure also comes externally from all sorts of directions too. We have to meet other people’s schedules and timelines. Workplaces pressure us to meet their time deadlines; churches pressure us to meet their timelines; and when we lay down boundaries around our times we are met with accusations of personality problems; laziness, lack of caring, disorganization. We can even be blamed for what others perceive as missed opportunities.
In the middle of all of this time pressure we are also told to ‘take time for ourselves’. I often think that this is one of the most dicey of time expectations; because if we actually do take time for ourselves, even well communicated time, time in recreation, or study or even just sitting and contemplating our navel, then that is also judged within the context of other people’s pressure of time. “You can’t take your navel-gazing this week, we have this deadline to meet.” “Why didn’t you attend this meeting on your Sabbath? Don’t you care about this?”
So where is God in all of this? Where is God in this pressure of busy-ness and the meeting of other people’s expectations and demands? Where is God when people are disappointed that you didn’t meet their expectations or demands?
Well – this week, I need to say, that I think that God isn’t in OUR understanding of time. God is in God’s time. I also believe quite firmly that God wants what’s best for me, for you, and for our world. God’s best is above time, above my Jenga scheduling, above the very human value judgements of how we all spend our time.
I believe that what God wants, is simply to put our time in God’s hands. And, frankly, to stop with all of the judgey messages we give each other about how we spend our time, and how we value our time.
And live with the gift of the Present.
Because, all of this pressure around time, well, it shows a fundamental lack of trust in God’s provision for us.
So, my dear Bethel friends, join me this week in really handing time to God. Not just our time, but each others time. God’s got this. We don’t need to know what the future has for us, we just need to pay attention to what we have in the moment. This really is our only moment.
Blessings today and remember you are Loved (no matter how you spend your time).