Before Labor Day I received this notice. I was not sure to whether to be upset that people were thinking about Christmas shopping before Summer was gone or to be grateful for the reminder that I need to finalize my plans for my flight back home for the Holidays before all the good fares are gone.
Even more disturbing – – That was several weeks ago and I’m just now getting around to writing about it. OUCH!
As a young girl, I remember my grandmother telling me that time goes by more quickly the older you live. That didn’t make sense to me then; now it does.
What is the proper perspective concerning time?
A few thoughts come to mind: make plans, live in the moment, trust God. I try to balance these three things (not always successfully).
First: Make plans for the future. Set goals. Count the cost. Consider the contingencies.
I love the old joke: if you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it. I don’t want to hit “nothing.” As stated in Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
God has plans. He gave Moses the plan for the Tabernacle. He gave King David the plan for the Temple. He had plans for the Israelites going into bondage: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. He has plans for our salvation and growth to maturity: “. . . being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6.
Our office recently finished our annual planning retreat. We looked at the needs for the next year, 3 years, 5 years and 10. We devised strategies, established priorities, determined staffing requirements, and developed plans. We may not achieve our goals, but we will have tried. With God on our side, we may even exceed them.
Second: Live in the present.
I’m a procrastinator. My tendency is never do anything today that I can put off until tomorrow. The result is missed opportunities and wasted time.
That attitude is deadly. Not only will I fail to get things done, but I won’t enjoy the moments spent in lazy guilt.
The Bible says in James 4:13-15 (NKJV): “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.””
This passage give me a sense of urgency. The older I get, the more I realize time is short.
On the other hand, I can be so focused on the future that I fail to appreciate the here and now. Life can be fun!
Rather than walking around in a cloud of concentration, worrying about the items on my “things-to-do list,” I can enjoy the journey, watch the sandhill cranes pecking in the grass, look for the turtles coming up for air in the pond, listen to the cracking thunder in the summer afternoon storm, and even splash in mud puddles (if that doesn’t sound like fun, watch the movie “Singing in the Rain”). I appreciate life so much more when I actually LIVE in the moment. God would not have given us a spectacular world if He didn’t want us to enjoy it.
Third: Don’t leave God out of the process. After years of aimless experiments concerning the direction my life should go, I finally asked God what He wanted me to do.
Okay, so I’m a slow learner.
My mother’s favorite verse was Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” That passage has made so much difference in my life that I have adopted it as my own life verse.
Moments for Thought: Have you made any plans for life? Did you ask God first? How can you enjoy the “here and now” that God has provided?