June 16, 2020 - Time
When I Woke up this morning I reflected on how quickly time passes us by. There are times when we just want time to pause or stop so that we might continue enjoying the time we are having with each other. Such a time for me was this past Saturday when Grace UMC just out did themselves by having a "Ride By" for their pastor and first lady. It was indeed a time of celebration and fellowshipping even with our masks on and practicing social distancing. Well, at least most of us did.
As I thought about time, it seems like yesterday when I arrived at Grace as pastor. I can still remember some of the people that I saw for the first time. They scoped me out and I scoped them out. It was truly the beginning of a wonderful time of fellowshipping, worshipping and serving. It was again a time to carry out the calling and vision God had placed on my life. It seems as if time just slipped on by like the twinkling of an eye. Time moves so fast that you begin to realize that you should take advantage of every moment in time. As I reflect on the time that has passed us by, I can say that the time God has provided is a time of rejoicing, for I wouldn't take anything for my journey. Life and time have been good.
The writer Solomon says, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;… Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Solomon's intent in this writing is to let us know that God has a plan for each of us and in that time that He has given us, we are expected to carry out those plans. Even in the time that God has given us, there will be good and bad times, but we still trust and believe in God to get us through our times. What is of utmost importance in these seasons that God has given us is to appreciate God's perfect timing.
God has infinite wisdom and knows all things. Here we are in an age of a pandemic and His word says, "There is a time to embrace; and a time to refrain from embracing." This is a season that we must place embracing on hold. As much as we would like to shake someone's hand or give them a hug, now is not the time to do so. What we must do is respect and honor God's timing.
My brothers and sisters, enjoy the time God has given you doing some of the simple things of life. Life is so good that we just need to take advantage of the time we have been granted. Yes, It is what it is!
James 4:13-15, "Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"-yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."
My point today is to suggest we continue living life to the fullest even with the restrictions placed on us. In living our lives to the fullest, we must remember who gave us the time and give Him thanks. What we must remember during this covid-19 season is not what you do, rather how you do it. What we must also remember is that God gave us this time and He expects us to use it wisely. I do not know about you, but I am just enjoying the time God has allotted us even in this time of uncertainty. Be safe, but enjoy the precious time God has provided for you today.
Not a sermon, just a thought!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor