There is a time for everything. Everything in your life has its own time and its own season. There is a time you were born, and a time when you will die. There are times for crying, and times for laughing – for weeping, even wailing, and a time for some sick dance moves. There is a time to be active, and a time to be still. There is a time to receive, and a time to give. Your life is lived with the inevitable, inescapable, sometimes insufferable, but always interesting march forward of times and seasons (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
It is cold this morning. I arose and took the dog outside for his early jaunt. Its winter. -10 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -20 degrees welcomed me like a stiff slap in the face. But I know it won’t always be this way. Not every morning will receive me with a bite.
Imagine if it were always winter… or summer… or spring… or fall. Yes, we all have our favorite seasons, and we might wish that the blooming green of Spring or the Indian summer of Fall might last forever. But you know that life is lived in a rhythm. All good things on this earth will not last forever; and, all the ill things will eventually pass away. My grandson will not always be 8 years old with that smile which swallows his face, and that curious way of a boy discovering the world through wonderfully childish eyes. But neither will he live in perpetuity with the scourge of epileptic seizures, because these, too, will eventually see their end, even if it isn’t until Christ returns.
If you will allow yourself to flow with the rhythm of time, and ebb with the coming and going of the seasons – then healing, health, and wholeness is there to weather you through the experiences of pain and sorrow, and move you to peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
For the believer in Jesus Christ, an observance of the Christian Calendar or the Church Year is helpful, beneficial, even necessary. Maybe I have lost you at this point. Perhaps I’m moving too “liturgically” for you. Out of all the things I could say to be helpful, you bring up an observance of the Christian Year? Really?
Consider this truth: Jesus Christ is Lord over all – including time. But the nasty little secret you hold is that your time is your own, kept and held onto like an addict. You use it like an alcoholic, consuming more and more of it and insisting in your denial that you can control your use of it anytime you want. If you’re looking for miracles, those typically come in the mundane of life – the kind of banal living that comes from a slow patient observance of the Year.
Not openly acknowledging Jesus as the Lord of time gives you the rationalization that you can use and abuse your days on earth. Never mind that you hide minutes from others, and have hours that you cannot account for. Your time is marked more with the wild swings from careless procrastination to sudden impetuous acts without thinking. It is high “time” that you come back to allowing the Lord of the seasons to rule your time.
Life is a journey through time. It is marked by events and seasons. The Christian Year is nothing more and nothing less than a journey with the life of Jesus Christ. If our lives are to center in him, our time is not our own. Allowing ourselves to move in the rhythm of God’s time sets a counter-cultural and subversive tone to the marking of time with the world. It is a declaration and witness that Jesus is Lord of all, including time.
In a future post I will list and briefly define each season, but for now it is good for us to consider what the state of our lives is concerning time. Notice that we tend to refer to it as “our” time or “my” time. But it is all God’s time, not mine.
You might be stuck in a difficult season of life. Fear not. Jesus is Lord over that season, and his time will overwhelm your situation. You might be in an enjoyable season. Be aware that Jesus is also Lord of that season, and he wants his life to dwell in you through his own good time.
Seasons come, and seasons go. Everything has its time. But the end of the matter, as the Teacher says in the book of Ecclesiastes:
“Respect and obey God! This is what life is all about. God will judge everything we do, even what is done in secret, whether good or bad.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, CEV).
There is often a great discrepancy between the way you spend your time and the way you think you spend your time. A time audit helps you look at exactly how your time is being used so you can better understand where your time is going. If you have never done a time audit, look at your calendar and choose an upcoming two-week period to do so.
Again, for now, don’t think too much about this (unless you want to get right to it, go for it). It is enough to think the thought that Jesus is Lord over your time and have a conversation with him about it.
What does this really mean for my life?
What is the Holy Spirit trying to say to me through seasons and time?
What kind of season are you in right now?
How might Jesus as the Lord of time impact that season?