Thursday, July 21, 2016

Perspective on Time


A swamp near the village. Photo by JennyEBurr

Did you ever play the game, "What time is it Mr. Wolf?" when you were young? 

One person is Mr. Wolf and he or she stands with their back to the rest of the group. A distance from Mr. Wolf is the group which calls out, "What time is it Mr. Wolf?"  Then Mr. Wolf calls out a time. If he or she says, "It's four o'clock," the group takes four steps toward Mr. Wolf. 

Each time Mr. Wolf calls out a time, the group advances forward that number of steps.  When Mr. Wolf realizes that everyone is very close, he or she is ready for the the final "What time is it Mr. Wolf?" 

"It's lunch time," says Mr. Wolf and he or she turns and chases after the group hoping to catch someone to be the next Mr. Wolf. Then time is reset and the game begins again. 


A swamp near the village.  Photo by JennyEBurr

Time in reality
We spend a great deal of time talking about time, wondering about time and working our way through time each day. 

Yet, none of our discussions about time can advance time or turn back time unless it is during Daylight Savings Time. Then we are blessed with one hour of extra sleep or we lose an hour of sleep, depending on the season.

As a child, I can remember thinking that time moved very slowly, especially when I was waiting for a special day to arrive. Now as an adult, time seems to move very quickly. 

Putting time into perspective
Although time hasn't changed because I still have 24 hours in a day, my perspective of time has changed.  

Experience, learning and knowledge take a commitment of time. Our prayer life, faith, love and trust in God also increase as time passes. 

While I may think that I am aware of the best time and the right time for something to happen, I only have a limited view of the bigger picture. It's almost like I am looking through a narrow tunnel and the only thing that I can see is that dim light at the end of it. 

I get impatient when life gets in the way of my timing and my plans. Instead of waiting for God's timing, sometimes I decide that I know when the best time is and decide to take control.  

Then what happens? 

The unexpected? Life goes amuck and gets messy! It may take longer for God's blessing to occur. 

Instead of blaming myself for wanting to take control I get upset with God because He didn't work things out the way I thought that He should have.  I forget that I decided that I wanted to be in control.  Perhaps my impulsiveness and my impatience have slowed down God's timing. 

Waiting on God's timing can be challenging because it means having to give up control of a situation and giving the control to Him. It means trusting God to work all things out for good. Even though I might think that my way is better, ultimately it isn't. God knows best. He knows what I need to learn along the way and he also knows who will benefit when He is given control.  

Sometimes it takes a long time....
When I get ready to grumble to God about how long it is taking for our finances to improve I am reminded of various times in the Bible where a situation took a long time to change. Days, months and years would pass before people turned away from their lifestyle and self-reliance to putting their faith and trust in God. 

For those in scripture, like Daniel and Joseph who had remained steadfast in their faith, it still took days or years for changes to occur. God was at work in the hearts and minds of others. The right timing for circumstances to change was crucial. The right timing is crucial in my life too. 


The right time
I now have a better perspective on time and I realize that God has a reason for things to happen, in His time. Patience and timing go hand in hand when mixed with prayer and faith. 

As my love for God has grown over the years, my prayer life has improved, and I have been blessed by God in ways that cannot be measured in finances or in consumerism. I am thankful, that God is patient and that He really does have the best timing in mind for my life. 

Bible Verse
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all of these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6: 33,34 NIV 

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to remember that you have my best interest in mind and that your timing is always best. In Jesus' name. Amen

Your turn
Do you sometimes have trouble waiting for God's timing? 

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Other By His Grace posts which may be of interest: 
Time
Good News Bad News
Unlikely Impossible
Mid March Grays and Jeremiah