I’ve been thinking about time.
(And yes, this post is inspired by Jeremy Camp’s song Keep Me in the Moment).
As a high school senior preparing to make the jump to college in the fall, I can’t help but feel the weight of just how young and inexperienced I am. I feel that time is of the essence to grow up, but I’m also asking myself all the “what if” questions about my past. My eyes are on the future, while glued to the past at the same time.
Am I ready for this?
What could I have done differently?
I’m stuck in this in-between: reminiscing about my childhood and all the good memories, while at the same time dreaming of all that could be. I’m mourning past seasons while questioning the upcoming ones. And in the process, I’ve often forgotten that the most important moment is this one right now.
I love to quote the song Here Again by Elevation Worship:
Can’t go back to the beginning
Can’t control what tomorrow will bring
But I know here in the middle
Is a place where You promise to be
It reminds me that the longing for yesterday and the worrying of tomorrow are pointless. When I’m constantly looking back or constantly looking ahead, I miss the beauty of this moment right here. I miss what’s right before my eyes.
Jesus is here. In this moment. And He calls us to be still and come to Him.
He says in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Why do we constantly concern ourselves with the things of yesterday or the things of tomorrow? We certainly have enough to deal with today without adding unnecessary burdens to our plate.
Seasons of our past are past, and while it can be fun to remember “the good old days,” we shouldn’t let it stop us from moving forward. God wants to show us something new–something better than we could ever imagine. It can be hard to let go, but the only way to embrace the new is to empty our hands of the old.
On the other hand, seasons that are approaching can look enticing, and we can find ourselves consumed with trying to rush things along. We jump ship too quickly; we try to abandon a season before God is done teaching us the lessons that come with it. Growth is a slow process, and just like you can’t rush a harvest on a farm, you can’t rush the work of the Lord.
God has His reasons for placing you in your current season. You are here for such a time as this.
Different seasons bring different agendas. Like the author of Ecclesiastes writes in chapter 3:
There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;
3 a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
6 a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
8 a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
It can take some discernment to know what season of life we are in currently. Sometimes it’s obvious; sometimes it’s not. There are some things in my life even right now that I’m trying to figure out. It’s quite frustrating.
However, there are some things that it is always the right time for, and we should engage in them without question:
- It is always the right time to pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
- It is always the right time to seek the Lord (1 Chronicles 16:11).
- It is always the right time to build one another up (Hebrews 3:13).
Isn’t it amazing how constant our God is? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We don’t have to wonder if He has changed His mind, or if any of His commands are different than they were yesterday.
Even as our seasons change and our agendas shift, the ultimate purpose of them remains the same: to bring glory to God. To grow closer to Him. To obey His voice and to follow where He leads. To love God and to love people.
Even if we wake up tomorrow and find that our lives have been completely flipped upside down, our purpose for living will still be grounded in our sure Foundation. Our purpose for being alive will never change.
Here’s a quote of mine that I’ve been toying with:
Reminiscing makes growing up hard.
Dreaming makes it easier.
Praying makes it fun.
Prayer adds a sense of adventure to life and keeps things interesting. Just because we pray for something obviously doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, but it sure is fun to talk with God about the future! Just taking a second to imagine all that God has in store–both in the short term and eternally–is so motivating. Think of all the possibilities!
There is nothing wrong with dreaming about the future and making plans, just the same as there is nothing wrong with taking a trip down memory lane. However, we shouldn’t get caught up in either extreme. Like a lot of other things, there is a necessary balance.
God is a God outside of time. It doesn’t faze Him. But because we’re humans, we have to walk through life one day at a time. I wonder how much more rich and full life would be if we chose to keep our mind in one day at a time as well, walking with the Lord day by day.
What would happen if we prayed in the moment? Sought God in the moment? Lifted each other up while it’s still called today?
Lord, keep us in the moment–that we may find You in every small thing.
Lord, keep us in the moment–that we may learn to walk with You through every day.
Lord, keep us in the moment–that we may live life to the full.
In Christ now and always,