Wednesday, February 17, 2010
"Give me time . . . "
Before I knew anything about blogging, I used to put my thoughts into what I called my "E-mail Epistles," and I'd send them out to friends and family. I thought I'd share some of those with you (my new friends and family!) over the next couple of weeks . . .
Here's the first of many "oldies but goodies" -- written on a Friday a few summers back.
I called my mom earlier today to ask her how her weekend had gone. There was a slight pause before she answered, "You do know it's only Friday, right?"
That should tell you all you need to know about my sense of time! Don't ask me why, but I could've sworn it was Monday. (I guess that's what happens when you see some of the people you go to church with on a Thursday . . . you end up thinking you've already had church, so it must be the day after Sunday, right!)
St. Michael will tell you that I have always been time-challenged. I tend to imagine that a given task won’t take me nearly as long to get done as it really will, or I think that I have much more time to accomplish a job than I really do . . . I’ll swear that I’ve only been gone for thirty minutes or so when it’s actually been and hour and thirty minutes. I just can’t seem to help it – I don’t have a good sense of time. (St. Michael would say that’s why God chose to pair me up with The Human Alarm Clock, one of St. Michael’s other names.)
Imagine my surprise this morning, then, when I was bombarding God with the list of everything I think He needs to be accomplishing in my life – and in the lives of those I know and love – and He broke in with a distinct, “Give me time.”
Whoa. Give me TIME.
I have to tell you, I was caught up short. Lately I’ve been focusing on verses like Jeremiah 32:27, in which God asks rhetorically, “Is anything too hard for me?” and old standbys like Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” And I’ve been vigilantly reminding myself of something the congregation at Emerald Pointe Community Church espouses in unison almost every Sunday morning, “GOD HAS A PLAN!” I’ve been actively telling God, “Be God! Do Your thing, God!” (And considering that I often slip into acting like I’m God, I thought that was pretty big and brave of me to tell God that I’m willing for Him to do His job!)
And yet, I was caught short.
God had to remind me this morning of the rest of the principle I’ve taught my people to rely on: God has a plan . . . and God has a timetable.”
When my Father says “Give me time,” He doesn’t mean it like you or I would – that we would need time to accomplish the work at hand because of its difficult nature or because of our own limited ability. He means that His ways are not my ways. And that He often chooses to work on a different schedule than I might like, simply because of that. He sees things from a perspective that I cannot even begin to imagine, and He knows that some things require time – not because He needs time in which to work but because we, as humans, often need time in which to allow Him to work.
He could simply speak into being that thing which seems an impossibility to us, and yet, in His wisdom, He knows that that is not always what would be best for us. He knows that there are things that need to be accomplished in our lives that for us, as humans, can only be worked into us and worked out of us through the passage of time.
This morning, I realized, once again, that I have to acknowledge that His plan also means His timetable. I am still struggling with wanting His plan but on my schedule.
I guess that for the rest of this week, I will focus on a verse from the Gospels: “yet not as I will, but as you will” (Mt. 26:39). Not on my timetable, Lord, but on Yours.