Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Have You Got the Time?

My timing has been a bit off here at Faith Fuel--I've been writing sporadically and posting from time to time but not with any degree of regularity. Getting the timing right on something is always a bit of a challenge, isn't it?

I love how the Psalmist writes, "My times are in your hands" (Psalm 31:15). He's referring to the seasons of opportunity and the timing of certain events being directly in God's powerful hands. It's a good thing that divine timing is not left up to me, I can't even get human timing right!

The thing is, if our seasons and windows of opportunity are in God's hands, then chances are (timing, again) that we're going to be in the dark about things until they're made clear. And most people who are "in the dark" feel somewhat afraid, a bit tenuous about their sense of security.

For example, I'm in the dark as to when I'll hear from my college-aged son, what exactly he is doing down south, what he is up to. I'll get a text message from him from time to time, but I basically don't know what he is doing, if he's getting to classes, sleeping at all, or remembering that college is about getting an education and not about having an extended vacation. He's a creative, wild type, my son; prone to taking a hair-raising adventure like Mr. Toad in the Wind in the Willows. It's best if I am kept in the dark about what he's up to because my heart rate might accelerate out of control if I know all the things going on in his life.

But maybe there's a correlation with how God works as well: I don't think I could handle knowing everything that is coming my way, or what "adventure" God is lining up for me to experience next. I thought I wanted to know more about what God is doing in the dark so that I can take a more definitive stance to what I am doing in the light. But God does not play fair--mainly because He doesn't play with our lives and He has a different standard for what fair is.

If I cast my bread upon the waters, as it says in Ecclesiastes, I may have to wait days, weeks, months, years before I see what happens. A better way to understand this verse and see that it doesn't have to do with soggy bread but Timing, instead, is to read the verse in the New Living Translation: "Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you." So you're really casting your ships on the water, over tumultuous seas, where they sail out until you can't see them anymore. They've disappeared into the horizon. You don't know when they'll return, and if they'll return full or empty.

My Dad didn't want me to major in English, back when I was in College, because he couldn't see that there would be a very good return for me career-wise. Where do English majors wind up? In various and sundry places, I can tell you that from experience. I completely understand, now, why he wanted to guide me into calmer waters where smooth sailing--at least career-wise--was a bit more possible.

There have been a number of ventures and adventures that I've taken over the years and when I look back, I can see where I would have taken a different turn or where I would have changed course, depending on what I saw coming my way, at that time. But all my seasons of life are woven together, working together for good; they're held in God's hands and He has promised to make sense of them all.

And after recently having a pivotal birthday, I'm obviously wondering if I've got the time, still, to make my life count, make my mistakes count even. Mistakes go hand in hand with risk. And risk is an ingredient in Faith. And without Faith, it's impossible to please God, says Hebrews; because God is looking for people who send out their ships on the waters and release them to the wind and to the chance of storms and danger. There's a chance an endeavor you've gotten involved in may start to go south. There's a chance that you can't quite reach that goal that you've set for yourself. But there's one thing I'm sure of: you've got the time, still, to reach out and go for the impossible. It's still the opportune season for taking a faith adventure because it is always God's will to press onward, press toward Him, and reach for something that would take His power, in you and on you, to do.

Don't stand too long looking at your ship sailing into the purple strirated horizon and wondering how long it will take till you see a return. It's probably a better usage of our twenty-four hour time to pour ourselves into the work at hand and leave the timing of it all, the outcome of it all, in God's hands where mysteries lay concealed... until the opportune time.


Kelly L said...

I enjoyed reading your post.. A lot of food for thought.
I've Become My Mother
Kelly's Ideas
Amazing Salvation

Angela said...

LOVED this post! It was very inspiring. I'm just now learning to put things into God's hands (or send my ships out to sea ;o) once I've done all I can. I know God has a plan, and if it's His will, good things will happen.

Robin said...

Much needed encouragement for me today-thank you Lauren.

LAUREN at Faith Fuel said...

Hey everyone! Glad you stopped by.

Kelly L- I'll try to stop by and visit your blogs

Angela- how are your ships faring??

Robin- may you find that it all works together for good--and at just the right time!

Sally said...

What timing--I was just having an email conversation with my prayer sisters about timing and God's timeline for us. Often we would love to know where each step of this race will lead us, but where is the adventure in that?
Thank you!

LAUREN at Faith Fuel said...

You said it right, Sally- the adventure awaits!

Shanda said...

Thank you for your post. I just happened to come across it and feel I can totally relate. I too, have a son far away in college. Sometimes it is easier not to know what is going on in their lives. It is easier to entrust them to God than worry. And, I too, am at a turning point where I need to pursue my dreams. I'm starting to seem old but do not feel old. Guess it is a matter of leaving it in His hands and trusting Him to lead me in the perfect way.
Thank you for this post.

LAUREN at Faith Fuel said...

Thank you for sharing from your heart, and yes--it all comes back to trusting God in the end, doesn't it?!