Have you ever been in a huge, harried hurry? Frantically trying to beat the clock that you think is profusely ticking against you? Do you ever find you’re able to complete the tasks at hand, only to subsequently realize that all of the effort and energy you expended in worrying about doing whatever it is you had to do turned into a half-baked anxiety upon completing the tasks? The tasks or errands that you were so sure were going to put you into overtime? I have and I hate it.
As time goes on and one becomes more and more accustomed to a routine or schedule, I find that—at least in my case—I seek to streamline the time it takes to do the things. A minute here, a moment there. Shave off some time to (theoretically) use elsewhere. But I sometimes forget about one thing:
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23)
Point is, not that I’m a “good man”, I’m not seeking to be unctuously or falsely humble. I will point out, however, that the connotation for “good man” is warrior in Hebrew. Interesting. Let’s take a moment and look at it from that angle.
“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:4) Soldier on is what Paul is saying. But he’s also telling Timothy here, to not get caught up in the minutiae of life as a means of escaping or forgetting the larger reality of God’s timetable. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) God does expect us to make the most of our time here on this plane, by the same token, we do need to be open to His leading and not squeeze the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit out of our schedule. It’s a fine balance.
There’s a story in the Book of Joshua where he and his men were fighting against the Amorites and Joshua spoke to the sun and commanded it to stay where it was. Essentially stopping time: “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” (Joshua 10:13) And speaking of angles, if you look at a sundial, the raised part on the face of the dial is called a gnomon. Its shadow is what shows the time. Imagine the shadow staying where it was for twenty-four hours. It might sound laughably impossible. I did, however read an article many years ago where someone at NASA (as an aside, “nasa” in Hebrew means to “lift up”) had calculated time with reference to the earth’s rotation, back thousands of years. Around the time of Joshua’s story, there was a day’s discrepancy in their calculations.
Referring again to the verse from Psalm 37, when it says that our steps are “ordered of the Lord”, we need to believe this. Our schedule is not a god. I find it hard sometimes to retain my peace when I’m so busy. And we’re all busy, I think that can be safely stated. In no way though does this mean that we can’t work with God and acknowledge Him as we go about our daily tasks. And if time seems to be going too fast, make an effort to slow down–stop even–and turn your attention to God. You’ll find in the simplest of acts, whatever you perform with God present, that He can change the flow of time, at least your perception of it. Sure, the next verse in Joshua says “And there was no day like that before it or after it…”, but it doesn’t mean that God can’t slow it down and let you catch up. It’s amazing to see God wipe away the pace leading up to where you met with Him and start you out afresh, ready to take on the world. Soldier on, ladies and gentlemen.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, emphasis mine)