Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What Time is it Right Now?

WhatWhat time is it right now?

Don't look at your watch or your computer. They won't give you the answer we're looking for. Read on:

"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...

He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11)

Probably nearly every one would agree with the premise. But the key is not in agreeing with the concept as much as it is in understanding what time it is.

Think about it.

Your car won't start. Is it time to buy a new one or fix the old one?

Your child hasn't done what needs to be done. Time to correct a mistake or stand up to disobedience?

You see an accident beginning to take place on the highway in front of you. Is it time to hit the brake or the gas?

You have some extra cash. Is it time to make that big purchase or build up the savings account?

Things aren't going well in some area of your personal life (church, marriage, exercise, etc.). Do you let it ride or chart a different course?

1 Chronicles 12 gives a list of key people in the life of King David, warriors who came to his aid. In verse 32 there is an interesting description of the men of Isaachar. We read that they,

"understood the times and knew what Israel should do..."

What a gift to have!

I've sat in enough meetings and been on enough committees to know someone like that is invaluable. When a big decision, often a crisis, is being faced, there can be a flurry of ideas and suggestions.

It can feel like you're on the interstate, far from home, and there is a blizzard. You can't see ANYTHING just ahead of you. You're ready to pull over. The meeting is out of control. One person says "hang on" and another says "let go" and the now you're totally confused.

But at that exact moment, a voice of reason, a seasoned, well-respected member, the person everyone has learned look to in moments just like these, says just the right word, heads begin to nod in agreement, and the group comes to a consensus before that individual has finished speaking.

Why? What happened?

They knew what time it was.

They knew when it was time to be quiet.
They knew when it was time to speak.
And they knew what we needed to do at this moment.

Some people think there is only 1 season; that it is ALWAYS time to speak.

Or ALWAYS time to laugh.

Or ALWAYS time to give up.

Or ALWAYS time for war.

But that isn't the wise way to live, is it? We need other tools in our toolbox. We can't always use the sledghammer. Or a hug. We need the right tool for the right job. We need the right response in the right season.

I'm trying to learn that lesson.

And this passage in Ecclesiastes makes us a promise:

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Be patient. Be listening to The Voice.

Be in relationship with The Spirit.

Be still and know HE is God.

May we allow God to show us what time it is today.

Grace & peace

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