The Process of Time

Sundial

 

I had the grill fired up and a house-full of friends. The weather had finally turned since moving in that February. I was excited to have people over for a cook-out for the first-time at our first house. My excitement quickly faded when my brother-in-law came back over to the grill and split open his raw hamburger. Rushing to feed a crowd, I didn’t make sure the burgers were fully-cooked.

Time = Process

I’m sure you can think of an example of not giving something the time needed. God has designed a certain process of time into everything. Food needs so long to cook. A day is a process of twenty-four hours and a baby is a process of nine months. Life is made up of various necessary and expected processes of time.

 Working Within the Process

A farmer is a great example of someone who learns to work within the process of time. I’ve never heard of a farmer planting in the spring and praying for a harvest in 30 days. Similarly, I’ve never heard of a farmer that takes seed and dips it in dirt once a week. Farmers realize the seed must be embedded in a process of time.

Too Much Time

I see examples in the church of the process of time not being factored properly. It can be too much time being allowed. There is a reason the desks in kindergarten are so small. Teenagers are not supposed to fit in them. The writer in Hebrews said, “by this time you ought to be teachers” (Heb. 5:12). Enough time has passed! They should have been further along in the process of time.

Not Enough Time

It can also be that not enough time is allowed. A person may have lived a rotten life for 20 years, should we expect our six-week Bible study to clean it all up? I think Paul was wise to require patience in leaders. He said, “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient” (2 Tim 2:24). I think an understanding of the process of time has application to many facets of congregational life—from how God provides financially to how transformation happens in a person’s life.

Question

Are you frustrated with what is happening because you haven’t been properly factoring the process of time? Is your frustration because you’ve allowed too much time to pass or not factored in enough time?

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One thought on “The Process of Time

  1. Good thoughts. I like it! American commercial society pushes us to see “quarterly results” or pay the penalty for not being productive enough. On the other hand, the freedom of unsupervised ministry can lead us to lethargic indolence (“The job expands to fill the time allotted for it.”) As you suggest, the right approach is to develop the knack of recognizing what is the right time for this or that particular process, and work within that identifiable framework. Thanks!

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