Our Time Is Now


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.

Ecclesiastes 3

“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.



On White Space & Balance

I’ve had some painting done lately. The two rooms that I spend most of my time in while at home have gone from a light powder blue to a color called “Balance.” It is an off-white that I selected more for the name of the color than the color itself. I need balance and I thought if I had enough white space in the house, it might help.

White space is very important visually, as I have been told by my Graphic Designer daughter-in-love. It can make or break the appearance of advertising, or whatever they are designing artistically. For she knows that when the eye is pleased, the “whatever it is” is on its way to the results intended by the designer.

Having the right balance, the right amount of the white or neutral experiences amidst the colorful situations in our lives is what can help us feel calm and centered. Too much of one or the other can cause us to feel off-kilter. Headed toward boredom or overstimulation with neither one beneficial. This is especially true for someone (me) whose balance is not as good as it used to be.

When I was MUCH younger, I used to love challenging my physical balance as a ballet dancer. During our class times it would be fun to see who could hold an arabesque on pointe the longest. Whenever you watch the professionals do this, it just takes your breath away. Such balance! Such ability to concentrate physically.

You see, in order to balance physically, you have to have your “center” over the base of your support. You may see arms and legs stretched out in different directions, but the core of the body, the part that carries the most weight, must be directly over the part that connects you to the floor. And for a ballerina, it could be a 1-2 square inch pointe shoe! If you move that weight a little too much forward or backward, or right or left, you will have to move “gracefully” on to another position.

There is a spiritual lesson in this. Do I live my life “centered” on the Word of God? Do my moves throughout my days, or my decisions to stay put, have the support of the scriptures? I have a confession to make. They do not always. If I say I love God, which is something I think and say often, and do not follow His commandments, I am way off balance.

John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”

When I see how someone else seems to be so much better off than me in so many ways, and I envy them, I am off balance. When I compare what I think I have with what I think she has and I feel the twinge of discontent, I am on my way down and there’s nothing graceful about it. The only graceful thing is how Jesus reminds me of His Word and gives me the opportunity to confess and repent.

1 Corinthians 4:11 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”

He reminds me of His goodness. He reminds me that He has given me the perfect amount of everything in relation to the unique person He created me to be and that being thankful for every single thing is the key to living an abundant life. To living a life balanced on His word. With perfectly placed white space and color to keep me fully engaged and never overwhelmed or bored.

By keeping His word, His precious word, on my mind and in my heart, I am allowing Him to make His home in me. I can’t get over it. As sick as I can get of myself, all I have to do is remember that with Jesus as my Savior, He lives in me! And when I keep Him at the center of my life I will have all the support I will ever need.