Friends-Steve and I were talking a couple weeks ago. Somehow the subject shifted to Christmas and Steve described this image he has of Christmas Eve. For him, Christmas Eve is a concentrated and dense event. There is this one point to which the church spends weeks building up and and then it's over. But it's not really over... We spend the rest of our lives living into/out of that event.

The church celebrated the Baptism of the Lord the same week I had that conversation with Steve. Again, this is an event that is full of meaning, but that the church moves past so that there is little space to unpack the meaning behind it.

All of this leads me to think about time. I know that my life, and I suspect yours, is governed by time. We mark our days with hours, minutes, and seconds and those demarcations dictate our activities, location and relationships.
Even now as I write this I am at the mercy of time. I gave myself an amount of time to get this done before I have another meeting and that's the way my life works. I schedule my day and it seems like I'm always in a rush to complete one thing so I can move on to the next.

The thing I so often forget is that clock time is not God time. Moreover, when I allow the clock to dominate my life, I can become so focused that I lose track of my allegiance to God. Intellectually this seems like a great proposition, but practically it is another story. Breaking free of the domination of time is a challenge because that's the way the world works. Faithful turning from a life driven by time to one more directed by God's Spirit and will requires an intentional commitment.

There is a great relearning required if we are going to live by a different time. This relearning requires us to let go of something that is a major influence on our lives and reorder our lives to be directed by God's call and direction. This means that we have to learn how to let go of our agenda and the idea that we exert agency over the world. Living by God's time asks us to learn that God controls everything and we are invited to join God in that process.

I think this has been on my mind so much because the church functions in a way that is outside of clock time and relies on God's time. The results of our programs, experiments, and efforts take time to be realized. There are no instantaneous results for the church or, really, for ourselves.

So, I invite you to give some thought to time. I hope that you will be especially aware of the power time exerts over your life and how you might begin redirecting that effort in ways that are more faithful and affirming.

Shalom, David


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