Pastoral Notes for September 9, 2018

I bought my first day timer when I was fourteen. I had just started a yard care business, and I needed something to help me keep track of appointments and tasks. It had a brown leather-like cover with a place for pens and business cards on the inside. I loved that day timer. I carried it everywhere, like a child who carries their favorite blanket for comfort. It made me feel organized, on top of things. It made me feel important. I had places to go, things to do, people to see. I was in high demand, so to speak.

That day timer is long gone, but the belief that a full schedule is a full life stayed with me a lot longer. I can see now that I bought into a notion of time, life, and importance that was shaped by the world rather than by Scripture. In a word, I had not yet understood that time was a gift to be received from God. At that point, I saw time as something to be managed, rather than a gift to be stewarded and redeemed for God’s purposes. I didn’t understand that time was something to be treated with sanctity. That the days and hours allotted to me were precious and deserved to be received and responded to with grace; that I could say of everyday, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

It took years for me to realize that there wasn’t an equal sign between a full calendar and a full life. It would take even longer for me to begin unlearning the habits that were formed by believing this, and still longer to relearn a new way of engaging with time. I’m not where I used to be on this, but I’m still far from well. Maybe that’s true for you, too. Maybe that’s true for us as a community.

If we began receiving every moment as a gift of God, how would that change us? What would we make time for that we’re not making time for now? How would the tempo of our life together shift? More specifically, what if every one of us saw this morning—right now—as God’s grace for us (Lamentations 3:23)? What difference might that make for the way we worshipped? How would we spend the 3-5 minutes after worship? What would our afternoon and evening look like?

Let’s not be deceived. Today is the day the Lord has made. The question is: will we treat it as such? Let’s open our life to receive the gift of today, and rejoice in it.