Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Beyond Crunch Time - to God's Time ; Originally Printed as an Editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Beyond Crunch Time - to God's Time ; Originally Printed as an Editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel

Article excerpt

Sometimes we all feel painted into a corner by time constraints. Maybe we have too much to do in too little time. Or face an impending deadline. Or fly halfway around the world - as a friend and I did recently - and find we've lost out on a whole day.

Actually, though, these experiences can be productive. They can teach us to deal more effectively with time pressure. They can show us our own capacities - for example, to do a task in half the time it usually takes. But beyond that, these circumstances can force us to redeem the whole conventional concept of time. They can push us to discover a kind of time that transcends the 24-hour-day paradigm. They can inspire us to measure the events of our life in a more spiritual way. And ultimately, in God's way.

A couple of years ago, on a plane trip from Boston to Tokyo, a flight attendant heard me calculating what time it would be when we arrived - and how much sleep we'd lose on the way.

"Forget about the time!" she said. "I learned a long time ago that you talk yourself into feeling exhausted when you count hours. Just live in the NOW when you arrive in Tokyo - and you'll be fine."

Living in the now - without fretting about the past, the future - is what little children do. And it's what the Bible recommends that all of us do. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation," St. Paul wrote (II Cor. 6:2).

The fact is, God's time is a forever now. Because, as Jesus said, God's "kingdom" is "come" (Matt. 6:10). His absolute control is for real - in every place, person, and time - eternally. Yet God's time is utterly beyond the time that's measured by finite seconds, minutes, hours, days, years. It's Spirit-based. And it's totally good because that's the way God is. The composer Johann Sebastian Bach believed this intuitively - and named one of his most glorious compositions "God's time is best."

Seeing finite time pressures as not having the last word accelerates the demise of those pressures. …

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