tik tak time
concept of time
Few years back we did a project in Papenburg, Germany where I came to know about a funny time piece the locals called “funk clock”. What made this “funky” is that this clock was programmed to go with the GMT standard time and nothing else! (GMT stands for Greenwich Meridian Time – from Greenwich, England at the Royal Observatory where all time zones are measured. It is the mean or average that the earth takes to rotate from noon-to-noon and is the centre of the time-zone map. GMT is also known as Zulu time but the latter was used mainly by the military). And so this clock does not go along with local times on different geographical settings but sticks to the GMT time, always. One notable thing with this clock is that – it is sensitive to magnetic or electrical pulses, so when it is placed near electrical appliances (i.e. TV, ipod, VCRs, etc.) it will just freeze and became useless. However, when it is taken away from electronic gadgets – it will spin like crazy and then adjust to the GMT, functioning as normal as before.
Interestingly, most of us are too fond of the latest electronic gadgets in the market, don’t we? Some even unwittingly spend all their savings just to get into the trend, especially the younger generation. Few years back, a cell phone is totally unknown. Now it has become a necessity as if people can’t live without it. Talk about ipods, wide-screen TV, PSP’s, lots of other goodies aggressively offered in the market vying our attention; it’s just overwhelming! One would even think that you really need all these. Of course it is ‘cool’ to have the best in the market but my argument is this: does this propensity to have the latest – really contribute to a person’s well-being?
right on time?
Let me get to where the rubber-meets-the road; one notable example – to a Christian; electronic gadgets pose a great distraction to his purpose and growth. The tendency to identify with market trends have such a strong pull to a believer that his spirituality suffers stunted growth. Take away the electronic gadgets – and he may learn to listen to the soft voice of the Spirit once again. Remember the funk clock? Now why am I so concerned about this? In our time and age, having all these amenities in life is not necessarily wrong since more and more are getting affordable anyway. It’s the lack of discipline in usage to these gadgets that is sidetracking a believer’s purpose or functionality. Unknowingly – that old slew-foot (the devil) is using this opportunity to keep the believer at bay and ineffective. How? By keeping him busy, distracted or occupied with the “things of this world”. If the devil can’t get you to sin, he might as well keep you busy. Then he can neutralize your effective witness so instead of scaling spiritual highs, the believer remains in the sidelines waiting for the ‘next train’ of cool things. Then complacency looms until he forget or ignore the very reason why God placed him where he is in the first place. He may find himself just “surviving” - waiting for the blessed coming of the Lord, when he should have been conquering dominions and bringing captive souls into the fold of His Kingdom. But even to those who do not claim to be religious or believer in Christ – the effect is the same. You may find the younger generation to be more complacent, unproductive, lacking self-motivation outside the inference of electronic entertainment. Most of their times were spent in front of that square electronic box where the physical world around them seem too distant or obscure. This is not an extreme observation – it’s happening daily to the youth, even the younger adults. Most people hate to think anymore. Worse, their thinking was ‘pre-packaged’ – courtesy of the media industry. That’s an easy fix, isn’t it?
Meantime we are encouraged to “redeem time” because the days are evil. What that entail is to use time to the kingdom leverage. Time unspent wisely is forever gone, it can not be earned back or re-spent again. Here is where most people fail. How much time are we spending in entertainment compared to works that are meaningful or beneficial, personally or communally? On the other hand, how much time do we spend on our knees bringing petition to the throne of grace for those who are in dire need? Or meditating or studying the scriptures? Isn’t it more time was spent asking for personal things that often emanate from our selfish desires? It is easy to pray and thank God, while having all the goodies you desire – but I warn you to take heart because it may be shallow and not from the heart. It is mainly based on the externalities – the things that you have been blessed with. Is the virtue of time spent in prayer now lost or insignificant?
our ailing world
the ball is yours
Some use the word “buy time” to mean delay or procrastinate doing an activity. Think about it, no one can really “buy” time for it is priceless. You can have time and spend it - but to buy in a literal sense – does not make sense! Now there is another time I wish you to consider, straight from the holy word.
1 For everything there is a fixed time, and a time for every business under the sun. 2 A time for birth and a time for death; a time for planting and a time for uprooting; 3 A time to put to death and a time to make well; a time for pulling down and a time for building up; 4 A time for weeping and a time for laughing; a time for sorrow and a time for dancing; 5 A time to take stones away and a time to get stones together; a time for kissing and a time to keep from kissing; 6 A time for search and a time for loss; a time to keep and a time to give away; 7 A time for undoing and a time for stitching; a time for keeping quiet and a time for talk; 8 A time for love and a time for hate; a time for war and a time for peace. 9 What profit has the worker in the work which he does? 10 I saw the work which God has put on the sons of man. 11 He has made everything right in its time; but he has made their hearts without knowledge, so that man is unable to see the works of God, from the first to the last (Ecc.3:1-10).
The Lord in His gracious foreknowledge has commissioned time to rule over the affairs of men, that men may seek Him. Since it is he who set the boundaries of time, common sense dictates that people should go along with that program and seek to establish his endeavour within that framework. Everything has its own time, even the span and timing of your existence was right in its time. Therefore would it be a sensible thing to inquire of your purpose why you are here? But he has shown you, o man what the Lord requires – to love justice, show mercy and humility? The fact is we are deficient to these, and how can we dispense if we don’t have them?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t expect to live in this earth another 100 years, so time is of the essence. Certainly I got time now to reflect what has been declared immutable so that I can better prepare what may come, for surely it will – sooner or later. People, wake up! Look around you and see the mess we are in. We do not have the pleasure or time to fix it. We can only live so long, but not long enough to carry on what we desire. Some can be remedied at best but most damages are irreversible. So I stand on the promise of the One – the only One who can fix this mess when He said “I will make all things new” – Jesus! He is coming! Is there anybody else mightier you can depend upon? Why not?