Category Archives: Time
Tired of waiting in line? Got better things to do with your time? Short of patience yet filled with places to be and things to do? Then hire a professional line sitter!
“Hate long lines? Consider a professional line sitter” tells the story of Robert Samuel, who founded S.O.L.D. or Same Old Line Dudes, a professional line sitting company that fields requests to wait (and wait and wait) for everything from sneaker launches to concert tickets. “Whatever you want, we wait for it,” he said, provided you’re willing to pay $25 for the first hour and $10 for each additional half hour.
In a culture where time is worth more than money, it’s not surprising a business like this sprang up. However, I doubt very seriously whether or not God will allow someone else to take our place when he wants to work in our lives.
Psalm 130:5–6 (ESV) I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
In his book, Margin, Dr. Richard A. Swenson speaks of the time pressure we all feel.
Columnist Bob Greene called it the “twitching of America.” Futurist David M. Zach called it “hyperliving—skimming along the surface of life.” The late Norman Cousins called it “a sprinting, squirting, shoving age.” E. F. Schumacher called it “the forward stampede.” From “fast food” to the “weekend squeeze” to the “Christmas rush,” time has us in its grip.
If you ask someone about their life, chances are good they will use the word, “busy.” We are busy, busy, busy, sometimes for good reasons and sometimes not. Some seasons of life and seasons of the year are busier than others. Some of us allow pride to keep us busy—we want to appear important and needed. There are times when our busyness covers up laziness—we are not accomplishing anything even though we are running here and there. Greed and materialism can be a motivating factor in staying busy. Still others are busy because they seek to please people rather than God.
Busyness can creep into the church. During the early 90’s, Family Bible Church in Eustis, FL offered, “Express worship, 45 minutes, guaranteed!” First Lutheran Church in Stewartsville, NJ, offers a 22-minute worship service at 9AM with the tagline, “You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the Kingdom of God.”
In a busy, busy world, how do we worship God with our time? It begins by acknowledging that time is a gift from God.
The New Testament uses two different words for time, chronos and kairos. Chronos is measured time while kairos is experienced time. chronos is the time of clocks and calendars while kairos is quality time. chronos says, “Nine months has passed,” while kairos says, “I’m going into labor.”
Under the heading of Chronos Time, God has established the pattern of day, week, month, quarter, and year (Genesis 1:3-2:3). God also established the cycle of work, rest, and worship (Exodus 20:8-11; 23:12-13). Consequently, we need to recognize who is in charge (Psalm 31:14-15) and that life is brief (Psalm 90:10-12). We need to hold our plans loosely and not presume on the future (James 4:13-17). We should also follow the rhythm of life rather than chafe against it.
Under the heading of Kairos Time, each event of life has its own season and length of time (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). We should recognize and enjoy the season we are in as well as adjust our expectations so they are appropriate. We should seize the unique opportunities that each season presents (Colossians 4:5; Ephesians 5:15-17). Having said that, we need to recognize the difference between: (1) the important and the urgent (Luke 10:38-42); (2) the clear call of God that must be obeyed and the unexpected opportunity you can say “Yes” or “No” to (2 Corinthians 2:12-13); and (3) ordinary human plans and God’s extraordinary purposes (Proverbs 19:21). To make the most of our Kairos Time, we need to live with intentionality (Matthew 6:19-21, 33).
In order to worship God with our time, we need to implement two principles in our lives. (1) Recognize that God has entrusted each of us with a task to accomplish and enough time to get it done. (2) Because our time is short, we must live wisely and intentionally in order to accomplish what God has called us to do.
This is the synopsis of a message preached at First Central Baptist Church in Chicopee, MA, on June 15, 2014. It is part of a series on The Heart of Worship. Please click on the link to download a copy of the sermon notes.
The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest.
It makes me lie down only when exhausted.
It leads me to deep depression.
It hounds my soul.
It leads me in circles of frenzy for activity’s sake.
Even though I run frantically from task to task,
I will never get it all done.
For my “ideal” is with me.
Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me.
They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule.
They anoint my head with migraines.
My in-basket overflows.
Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever.
(NOTE: As I prepare to preach this week on “Worship God with your Time,” I found this poem in my files. It appeared originally in Discipleship Journal, Issue 60 1990, p. 23. The magazine was published by NavPress, but has since been discontinued.)
I have come to realize I don’t spend enough time in Quadrant 2 activities.
I am in a season where I am working seven days a week doing good things. I am caught up in the urgent and the important. Occasionally, I do things which are neither. But for the most part, what suffers the most is not spending time doing the things which are important, but not urgent. Things like dreaming, long range planning, and reading fall by the wayside because something else cries out louder for attention.
Seems like it is time to reevaluate my schedule and priorities.