My children are fascinated with the concept of time. They want to know if the book we are reading is going to be a long book or if the movie we are watching is a long movie (longer is always better in both cases); they want me to set the timer for chores or for time on the swing; they are very aware of weekly routines: Sundays and Wednesdays are new CD night (for their bedtime music) and Fridays are Poppa and Mama’s date night. They know what housework I do on which days and always hope their day to help me falls on the day I do their favorite chore. Time brings them structure and security; it helps give them a sense of place and presence.
I think that holds true for man kind. We measure time, record time, plan out our time, predict time and attempt to influence time. We try to find ways to shorten it, lengthen it or maximize it. If it’s a turbulent time, we feel unsettled at best, terrified at worst. If it’s a peaceful, predictable time, we feel confident and happy. We define who we are according to the time in which we live. If we are troubled, it’s because we are a product of our times. If we are overcomers, it’s because we survived the times in which we lived. Time offers us a sense of place, purpose and identity; it is both a springboard into the future and a record of where we have been. “Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.” Ecclesiastes 3:15
This morning I read chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes. It’s the “Time for Everything” chapter and one of my favorites. But today I focused on a few verses I had not pondered before:
“And I saw something else under the sun: in the place of judgment- wickedness was there, in the place of justice- wickedness was there. I thought in my heart, ‘God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed.’”
I believe it is time for every individual to ponder how they stand before God. Our time here on earth is but sand in a glass timer; it has been turned, time is being kept and it cannot be halted. When all is said and done and we stand before the judgment throne of God, He will not ask us about our diligence in wearing masks and washing our hands; we won’t be called to give an account for how many monuments we tore down or saved, or even for how we voted in elections or how we convinced others to vote. The posture of our hearts toward Him is what will be judged. Have we accepted or rejected Him? Is He Lord of our lives or not? If we claim to be Christ-followers, is the gospel our banner, our purpose, our calling? If we do not claim the name of Jesus, why not?
For me, I see that “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.” This is a time for me to go deeper with Jesus. I want to pore over His Word, to communicate with Him from dawn to dusk, and to not hesitate to respond to His promptings regardless of how difficult it might be. These uncertain times only appear that way when I view them with temporal vision. When I look at the times in light of eternity, I can walk into the future with confidence. Just as my children rely on me to be the time keeper, CD changer and routine maker for their little lives, I can also rely on this present history being in God’s hands. Jesus makes all the difference.