Friday, November 06, 2009

The Gift of Time

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1

Last night as I sat at dance class, I overheard a mother talking about their recent trip to Florida. It had been a spur-of-the-moment trip, but at the same time, before they left for the trip she was scrambling to try and get stuff done before they went. She had paperwork to do, a house to clean, work of some kind to do, laundry, things like that. She said that finally, she just looked at all that was piled up before her and decided that it could wait. So instead she prepared for their trip, went on their trip and had a lovely time, and came back home to find that the universe hadn't ended because she didn't finish all that stuff before going.

I used to think I was indispensable when I was working. I would put in 14 hour days because I thought that no one else could do my job, and that I was vital to the success of the store. How silly I was! When I quit, it was so hard on me because I loved my job and my company, and I really thought that the store would struggle without me. And you know what happened? Someone else quickly slid into my place and the store continued to sell stuff. Oh sure, the boss missed me a great deal, but the everyday operations did not cease to exist simply because I wasn't there. The customers who came in looking for me didn't find me, so you know what they did? They talked to someone else, and left satisfied.

It's the same way with housework and day-to-day stuff. Some days I'll look around and think about all the work I have to do that day, and just groan about it. I'll start working on it, get some things done, and then at the end of the day there will still be stuff to do. Do you know what happens when I leave that pile of legos in the middle of the floor overnight? It's still there in the morning. *Smiles.* I can pick up tomorrow, or heaven forbid, it can be picked up a few days from now. And I daresay if someone dropped in as unexpected company, they would understand the legos being there. I even suspect that, depending on the company, they might find themselves putting legos together themselves.

The point is, so many of us have made ourselves victims of time. We find ourselves dashing from activity to activity because the world says that we're supposed to. Gosh, I hear it all the time at dance, and I wonder where these parents find the energy to take their kids to ballet/soccer/karate/swimming/gymnastics/religion/lego league/school play and on and on and on. And that's just one kid! Why do we do that? We sit down and make a schedule- we outline our day according to a clock on the wall, and to what end? Our day is over before we even begin it. Thank God for the one thing that He has given us the most of- and that is time. God has given us time, and He has given it abundantly.

There is a season for every activity under the sun. Everything! That means that there will be more time. We get ourselves so harried, rushing kids in and out, speeding down dangerous streets, stressing out because we're late, we're late, we're late. What good does that do? I have learned that lesson! What good does it do for me to sit in the van stewing while I drive because we're ten minutes late for dance? You know what, we still arrive, dance still goes on, and a great time is had by all. Or we'll be waiting for company to arrive. And waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Why do we fret about that? Really, in the grand scheme of life, does it really matter if our company is an hour or two late? They still arrive, we have a great time, and time goes on. Time goes on. There will always be more. And if there isn't, it's because Jesus Christ has returned and then we are all in glory anyway, so time really doesn't matter!

I've watched time try to creep in on me and mess me up more than once in my life. The world tells us time is important. From the day a baby is born, the doctors and the books tell us that a routine is imperative. A schedule is a must, to show baby that they are secure and safe and loved. Hogwash. A routine and a schedule turns that baby into some kind of autonomous being. They must eat at this time, they must play at this time, they must sleep at this time. It doesn't allow for flexibility in the least. And what happens then when the routine is interrupted? Oh, I know we've all seen those- the wailing and the howling because the routine is disturbed.

Do you know that God made the earth the way it is for a reason? We've been studying astronomy for school, and the earth rotates perfectly to give us the perfect amount of day and night. Once upon a time, people didn't use a clock. They used the sun. The woke when the sun came up and went to bed some time after the sun went down. In between they worked, they did chores and lived life. They ate meals when they were hungry, not because the clock said it was noon and time for lunch.

As I'm writing this all out this morning, I'm getting my own personal revelation. I love it when God does that! This week has been a real struggle with Zander, I have to say. He has really not been wanting to do school, and I've been at the end of the rope with him, so to speak. We continue with each day, but I've been feeling like at any moment, the task I ask him to do could be the one to cause the meltdown.

You know what? He's five. And he's doing hid kindergarten year of school. He can read, write, and do his sums. And we have all the time in the world to build on those basics. We have all the time we could possibly need to educate this little boy. He's already beyond what is learned in a standard kindergarten classroom. In just ten weeks of school, his schoolwork is looking more like first grade than kindergarten. And you know what? It's not going to hurt him in the least to let him take some time off and de-school.

We are not victims of time. Or slave to a clock or a calendar. There will always be a tomorrow. God made it that way! God gave us the beautiful gift of time, for which there is time for every activity under the sun. This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!

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