“There are two days in my calendar: This day and that Day.” – Martin Luther
I like Martin Luther’s earthiness for he was not afraid to enjoy life boldly and speak the truth with fresh vigor.
But what arrested me recently was his peculiar time-management system, at least as far as I can surmise from how he kept his calendar!
What about you and me? For all the tech devices we employ, meant to make life easier, we seem to be burdened and tied down to what was designed to free us.
I’ve pondered schedules and the existence of RUSHING as a lifestyle this summer. With 6 of my 9 weeks off as a teacher now a pleasant memory, I’ve been thinking a lot about TIME as I have crossed off summer chores and tackled ‘meaty’ books. Can you believe that a couple of days I even ‘stressed’ at all I had to/wanted to do?
But is that the way a Christian who trusts God is supposed to live his life? Does the Bible counsel rushing? By no means! God WANTS us to develop patience, that is the qualities of endurance and steadfastness (Greek 5281 – hypomone). To prove my point, I’ve pulled out a few snippets of God’s will for us:
- ..run with patience/endurance -Hebr 12:1 (‘feels’ like a contradiction, but not according to God)
- …Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him – Gen 5:24 (God’s schedule, not ours)
- ….those who wait upon the Lord will ….run – Is 40:31 (have to keep our eyes on Him to catch His signal that NOW is the time to run using His holy petrol)
- …But if we hope for what we do not see, with patience/ perseverance we wait eagerly for it – Rom 8:25
- Now may the God who gives patience/ perseverance and encouragement …. Rom 15:5 (a gift)
- And let patience/endurance have its perfect result so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing – James 1:4 (patience aka learning to wait is God’s goal and desire for us!)
- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10 (If God has these divine appointments and purposes planned, let us not fret about our time which is ALSO purposed and planned)
But how are we to gain this patience? Do you know ANYONE who is naturally patient? I don’t!
Here’s the truth: Patience is a gift from God. But He doesn’t just imbue us with this attribute; He cultivates it IN us by means of the trials, struggles and problems He walks us through. Do you get that? Suffering has a purpose when we consecrate it to God, when we trust our good Father in the midst of our hardships. And knowing that there are reasons, even if we can’t see them, is far better than thinking that this painful stuff is just randomly occurring to us! Chalking problems up to bad luck or fate produces NO endurance or patience – for what’s the point of bearing up well, if there’s NO POINT at all!
So what about those days when we don’t get done what we had planned? The good news is – it doesn’t matter! God IS sovereign over our time because it’s not OUR time, but His! He can chop it short or stretch it out. And if the only day that really counts is when we meet Him face to face, then why stress?
Here’s a fact, both for the pagan unbeliever who is hostile to God AND for the child of the King who loves God. There IS a day appointed and fixed for each of us. That is Martin Luther’s red-letter day. You can be sure that you won’t miss that rendez-vous when each of us will meet Jesus face to face. You can’t rush that meeting nor delay it.