A time for all things

Published 10:18 am Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Time! I looked it up in the dictionary and found “the system of those sequential relationships that any event has to any other, as past, present or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.” God created the heavens and the earth including the sun and moon and stars and time.

We measure days by the rising and setting sun, and we measure months by the appearance of full and new moons every 29.53 days. The Native Americans divided the year into 13 months using the full and new moons. We measure years by the orbit of the earth around the sun.

There is also an emotional time measured by our feelings of urgency or relaxation. A physical hour with someone you like, or doing something you like, is an emotional minute. A physical minute with someone you don’t like — or doing something you don’t like — is an emotional hour. So, as much as possible, do things you like with people you like.

“Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses. He sets the time for birth and the time for death, the time for planting and the time for pulling up, the time for killing and the time for healing, the time for tearing down and the time for building. He sets the time for sorrow and the time for joy, the time for mourning and the time for dancing, the time for making love and the time for not making love, the time for kissing and the time for not kissing. He sets the time for finding and the time for losing, the time for saving and the time for throwing away, the time for tearing and the time for mending, the time for silence and the time for talk.” (Ecclesiastes 3)

Before I retired, the Lilly Foundation gave Asbury Theological Seminary a grant to enable its retiring graduates to spend a year creating a bucket list. My group spent a week at a resort in St. Petersburg creating the first draft and a year later we spent a week at Epworth by the Sea writing the final version. Mine was titled “Time….” It included “time for God,” “time for family,” “time to write,” “time to travel,” and six other “times” with detailed expectations for each “time.”

I’ve been retired for eight years now and I’ve worked on eight of my 10 “times.” None of them are finished. I’ll be working on some of them for the rest of my life. Somewhere along the way, I added an 11th “time for serving two small churches” near where we live.

They’ve been gracious to allow me “time” to work on my bucket list, and I’m doing something I like with people I like.