Sunday, June 12, 2005


I've just listened to another sermon on the subject of time. I must have listened to hundreds in my lifetime and I'm sure I could have used the time better. Actually this one was quite good, as far as it went, but I always listen to time sermons thinking, 'This is nothing to do with me.'

We are preaching a series on the Frances Ridley Havergal hymn, 'Take My Life and Let It Be,' covering a verse each week for six weeks. Next week I've got 'Take my body' which I'd be delighted for someone to do.

My problems with time:

1. We are often encouraged not to fritter away time but as someone who writes for a living, frittering is a key part of my day. No fritter no fruit. Blogging is one way I have of developing a pace of communication which often, although not inevitably, leads to more creative output later on.

2. In my office days I was encouraged to be efficient with my time, grouping tasks such as going to the photocopier or going round the building seeing people. After five years of this my back seized up and it took a further five years of investigation and professional help to discover that if I was inefficient and walked around the building every time I needed the photocopier or to see someone, and did three trips up and down the stairs in my house when I could have carried everything at once, I would be more bendy. The pain has now gone and I often make frivolous and unnecessary trips round the house because it doesn't hurt to do so. I also spend less time picking up things I have dropped down the stairs trying to carry too much at once, which is a small fringe benefit.

3. I like patiently watching other people being impatient. Nothing delights me more than not caring which supermarket checkout is fastest or which lane on the motorway is going to get through the hold up most quickly. Life is not a competition. No it’s not. Never change lanes in a motorway queue. Read up on queuing theory if you don’t believe me. Lane changers slow the whole queue down.

Time is a human creation to describe how things move in relation to each other. God made things that move. If you don’t buy into the whole ‘God made’ thing try ‘The world is full of things that move’. We made time to explain the movement. 70 mph is just 70 lots of approximately 2000 paces every time the moon goes one twenty fourth of the way round the earth. Now how stupid does that sound?

We all have one life and we can do anything we like with it. Frittering is fine. Try and do it with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control if you can.

Be holy. In your own time.

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