– Pastor Brandon’s article from the June 2018 Newsletter
There are very few clocks in my house. In fact, I can only think of two, almost side by side on the ovens in kitchen. For whatever reason, there are two ovens in our kitchen, each with its own digital clock; so, effectively there is only one visible clock in our house. There are no other clocks on display anywhere else, not on the walls, not on a shelf. When I get home, I almost always take off my watch, and even though I often fail to do so, it would be best if I put away my phone.
Why? Because I like to watch the clock. I like to know what time it is. I am constantly measuring myself against the clock. Am I on schedule? Can I get this done by 7:00? Do I have enough time to accomplish what I need to do? What about a break from 9:00 to 10:00? That’s PM by the way. I’ll do this task until 3:30, and then that will give me two hours to do that other thing. On and on, it goes. So, if I’m actually going to wind down and de-stress, I prefer to be away from a clock.
While the clock-watching occurs on a day-to-day basis, I also see this mindset playing out over larger periods of time in my life. I regularly compare where I am now in life to where I think I should be. I can become frustrated or discouraged when things are going slowly and I don’t think I’ve made enough progress or when things seem to be moving faster and faster and I feel like I can’t keep up.
Of course, life is full of changes. There is a continual ebb and flow. Just when you think you’ve settled in, a new situation arises and sets it all off-kilter. The author of Ecclesiastes recognizes this when he writes,
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-14)
There are indeed seasons in life. One of the greatest challenges is discerning the season we’re in and then finding contentment in the midst of it. There are times when I am anxious for change and want my current circumstances to pass quickly. On the other hand, there are times when I lament that things are no longer what they used to be. How often I think, “If we could only get to next year, things will be better” or “if only we could go back to when life used to be like that.” I go on wishing away the present, impatient for the future or mourning the loss of the past.
But, in every time of life God has grace, calling, and blessing for us. Each season is a gift and we must all learn to receive and enjoy it. So what season are you in? What time is it for you? Don’t be tempted to measure by your own clock and your own standards. Instead, humbly go before your loving creator, ask what his calling is in this season, and invite his Spirit to do his work in you and through you. May our hearts be transformed in the presence of our God!