Tuesday, November 02, 2010


by Jenny

Time seems to be a big concern to most seminary students. There never seems to be enough of it to get everything done, let alone have time for “fun.” Yesterday I was talking with some students about this. One student said that she has to choose between doing normal life stuff on the weekends and getting homework done. If she chooses the former, she starts off the week behind on homework. If she continually chooses the latter, eventually she feels she will loose it if she doesn’t take a break.

Last night in one of my classes the professor brought up an analogy he’s been using that speaks to our mortality: an hourglass glued to the table (from Anna Nalik’s song, “2am”). This a horrifying image to him, because each moment inevitably slips away, and there’s nothing we can do to reverse it.

Thinking about this can be kind of a downer. How are we supposed to balance homework with maintaining our church, family, work, and social lives? What about all the other activities on campus that we would like to take in, such as chapel, lectures, discipleship group, movie night, etc.?

I was wrestling with this very issue this weekend, and needed to take a break from my normal homework routine. So I went to the Saturday evening service at my church, just for a change. It turns out that the sermon dealt with exactly the issue I had been struggling with. The pastor called us to recognize that we often think of time as a commodity we can spend like money. Yet ultimately, it runs out, and there’s nothing we can do to get more. This is the stress the world creates around time. Then he provided a different conceptualization of time by looking at God. God does not seem to be in a hurry—not with the creation, not with our lives. Even Jesus, who had an acute sense of timing in his life and ministry, didn’t seem in any hurry to get started with his Son of God activities until age 30.

So what’s the message to us? That time is a gift from God to be enjoyed. Yes, there are many things we need to do, but being stressed out about them doesn’t help. If we recognize that time is God’s, not ours, we can receive each moment as a gift, and ask God how we should live that moment fully. Trusting God with time helps us create space for relationships and “normal” life in the midst of busy schedules. I think at this point in the semester we could all use a little of that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder, Jenni. As I heard last night: "I miss you." I answered, "But I'm right here". The answer came, "Not really, not most of the time." How easy it is to forget to be truly present.

11/03/2010 06:06:00 PM  

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