“Times of Our Lives”

I don’t think about time as much as I should.

I mean, I have a calendar and a clock and like most people, I’m really driven by them.

What I mean to say is that I don’t think enough about how I spend my time. Yes, like everyone else, most of my waking hours are spent working. And most of my “off” hours are spent relaxing either in front of the TV—a questionable use of time—or on the computer—another question mark—or with a book—less questionable, I think.

Some of my “off” hours are “decompression” time, what we all need to unwind after a busy day. Some of them are not.

It’s the “are not” time that I’m thinking about the most right now.

In part, that’s because it’s the start of another year. Time to look backward at 2014 and everything that happened, and forward to 2015 and all the opportunities that lie ahead.

The other part is the real question mark: Did I spend my time well?

How did I spend my time? How did WE spend our time?

Here’s a quote about time from the contemporary philosopher Dr. Seuss who had this to say about time: “How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”[1]

How will we spend our valuable time? That’s a question each of us has to answer for ourselves.

The Book of Ecclesiastes has some comments about time that we’ve heard before: “To everything there is a season and a time and place for every matter under heaven” (Eccl 3:1). (If you grew up in the 60s, you remember the song “Turn, Turn, Turn,” by the Byrds that puts these thoughts to music).

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn and a time to dance;

a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.

War and peace, love and hate, sewing seed and reaping; every possible activity, according to this poem (whether good or bad) has its time and place. Bad things happen in life, along with the good. These things are part of life. We can spend our time complaining about them, fighting against them, but in the end the best thing we can do is to be happy and enjoy life while it lasts.[2]

While this is certainly one way to read the world, it’s not the only one.

God has more in mind for us than this. At the start of his ministry, Jesus said:

“The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15).

This is what we proclaimed days ago with the birth of Jesus: God’s Son came among us, ushering in a new time, God’s time of salvation.

Here is something new! Here is something that breaks into our world! Here is a new time zone—Kingdom of God time!

At the start of a new year, we stand on the edge of this time of divine possibilities. Let’s remember our time on earth is a gift from God.

There will be ups and downs. When it comes to the downs we can have regrets or denial or we can allow God to redeem them for God’s purposes. This doesn’t happen over night. It happens in God’s good time.

I’ll close with one more quotable quote, this one from Bil Keane, a cartoonist who was known for The Family Circus:

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”[3]

Open your present from God this year—the gift of time. Covenant with God to use it well.


Pastor Bob

[1] Quotations from BrainyQuote.com, article on internet, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_time.html, accessed 30 December 2014.

[2] Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams, “Should There be a Clock in the Sanctuary?” Day1 website, article on internet, http://day1.org/1677-should_there_be_a_clock_in_the_sanctuary, accessed 30 December 2014.

[3] BrainyQuote.com, article on internet, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_time.html, accessed 30 December 2014.