Our Time Is Now
“Can I just trade these and go?” Says this woman to the staff, while waving two DVDs in the air at the customer service desk at Walmart. “No, you have to get in line to do the paperwork,” was her answer. Another frazzled female making her way behind me in line said, “Good thing I’m patient…” after she grumbled about how she had been out since eight o’clock this morning and has got “nothing” done. Which was preceeded by the story of how the other places she had already been to this morning failed her. Did I mention that the line was long? Kind of like “the day after Christmas” size. Oh my.
I had to decide to change what would be my default reaction and try to think of another way to process this. I said to myself “when they call me up, I am going to let the lady behind me go first.” It was fun. She says, “Are you sure?” Then quickly goes ahead. Then I offered this to the next lady in line, the one with the DVDs, and she declines. She instead said something to the effect “oh no, I can wait, I shouldn’t have let that bother me so much.” We then had a pretty pleasant conversation until the staff could help us with our exchanges.
It was good. Thankfully, I was not under any time constraints, so I know I wasn’t much of a hero. Yet it was a victory over my normal way of dealing with hold ups. I’m the worst at waiting. I will drive the long way around rather than wait my turn when there’s road construction. I will get there no faster, but at least I won’t be sitting there waiting. I have enough examples to fill this page, but you get the picture. I have a problem with time; always worrying that I’m wasting it.
Time has been called lots of different things. It can be a gift, a curse, an illusion, a friend or an enemy. Each true depending on the circumstance. Something about time that is true in every circumstance is our time is now. This is all we really have. I love how Christine Caine says it in her book Unstoppable, “God has plucked you out of eternity, positioned you in time, and given you gifts and talents to serve him in this generation. Your race is now. This is your time in history.”
It excites me to think that God placed me in that line today to do that seemingly small thing and I know it changed someone else’s day. Mine for sure. He has you in this special time in history to do what you can to help others and to glorify Him. It’s just not all about us. And when the right “time” comes, He’ll pluck us out of time and put us back into eternity. The question is, what story are we writing while we’re here and where are we storing up our treasures?
Jesus says in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The time we have here can add some wrinkles and wounds, the effects of the Fall. But we have to look deeper than that. We need to look for the treasure in each day that we have. Each decision to put others first glorifies God and adds to our treasure in heaven. Challenge yourself to overlook offences and extend graces in your relationships. By doing so, you’ll be racking up treasure in eternity that can never get tarnished. The only things we should be rushing to are those things that count for pleasing God and helping others. (Preaching to myself here.)
One thing that is so true about time is that it has a limit. We can run our race, the race we are all called to run, with joy, in the time that is now. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) And when what we consider hold-ups in life happen, we carry out whatever would hold up to those goals for our journey here. Pleasing God and helping others.
Solomon, considered to be the wisest man this side of heaven, wrote about time. How everything under heaven has a purpose. Only those closely attached to God can have the wisdom to know when those times are and choose the appropriate way to react or respond.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
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 cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, 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 of war, and a time of peace.
These are the first 8 verses, then in verse 17 the wise king says:
“God shall judge the righteous and the wicked,
For there is a time there for every purpose and every work.”
Only those closely attached to God can have the wisdom to know when those times are and choose the appropriate way to react or respond. I can only pray that I will know and trust God’s Spirit to tell me. May He always find us following Him so closely that our answers are as plain as can be during our time which is now.