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A Message from your Minister
The Gift of Time
The Bible teaches us about time. In Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
we read: There is a time for everything, and a season for every
activity under heaven.
Really I hear those who are running around ragged in our midst
cry out. Really
For people in the church, and indeed outside the church, there never seems
to be enough time for all that needs doing.
This prompts the question: Has the Bible got it wrong?
Are these well-loved words of scripture, failing to speak to us in this
age of rush, hurry, and worry?
Or have we got it wrong?
When we read these words, are they saying there is time for absolutely
everything we desire to do, no matter what it is? If this is the case,
then no wonder we often feel there is not enough time. Or, do these words
of scripture imply there is time for everything God deems to be His will
It seems to me that how we understand these words depends on whether we
consider time, to be ours alone, or to be a gift from God. If time is
ours alone, there will never be enough time for all we want to do. If
time is a gift from God, then there will be enough time, if we make time
to be still for the presence of the Lord.
The challenge for us is to slow down and take time to
discern what God is asking us to do with the time God has given to us.
This we must surely do in our individual lives, within the life of our
family, and of course within the life of the church.
When I am feeling frazzled by time constraints, I often turn to a little
book called, Lord of Time written by Frank Topping, published
in 1985 by Lutterworth Press. Cambridge. He writes: Somehow, over
the years, Ive become conditioned to fill every minute of my working
day with activity
Ive convinced myself that doing nothing is
a waste of time
But ceaseless activity eats away my life.
Further on he writes: Lord of time, help me to make time to be
Lord, slow down my aimless race
. Slow me down, Lord. Enlarge my
life with stillness. In serenity, help me to take stock, to enjoy what
is close at hand, to delight in lingering in the company of those I love,
to appreciate and to enjoy every precious moment.
And towards the end of his reflections on time Frank Topping concludes
with these words: Lord, let me see you in my work, that I might
witness to your presence, Let me see you in my home that I might speak
and act as a child of God, Let me know you in my heart that the thoughts
of my mind might reflect your love. Lord, as you have time for me, may
I make time for you.
To achieve what Frank Topping is looking for in his life and encouraging
us to find in our lives requires time away from the busyness of every
day activities and time alone with God in prayer and praise.
Time is indeed a precious gift, to be used wisely and well.
The Stewardship Programme, in many churches across the
land, this year, will focus on Time. We will be asked to think
about what we do with our time. What time we give to the churchs
work and witness, and what it is we believe God is asking us as a congregation
to do at this particular time in our church history. As members and friends
of the congregation, you will be asked to see time as a gift that God
not only gives to you but as a gift you can share with the Church.
Your gift of time might involve taking a leading role as an office bearer.
Your gift of time might mean attending worship more regularly. Your gift
of time might entail praying at home for the work of the church. It might
involve tearing up some of your old diary commitments and creating time
for the family or new means of engagement in the life of the local church.
The way in which you offer your gift of time will be unique to you, but,
this you can be certain of, there will be enough time for it, if it is
in line with Gods will for you.
Lets make this years stewardship theme a positive time, a
time of encouragement and growth, a time during which we look back over
the years with thanksgiving and forward to the future with a renewed sense
Henry Van Dyke wrote this poem about time:
Too slow for those who wait
Too swift for those who fear
Too long for those who grieve
Too short for those who rejoice
But for those who Love
Time is not
With kindest regards
From your minister and friend,
Jean W Gallacher
Rev Dr Jean W Gallacher
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