Sunday, November 27, 2005

Time management with God

I wonder what some of my readers would think if I said that today I attended an Anglican church service with a woman curate preaching on ‘Balancing Act: Time Management’. I can assure you I felt much the same way especially when one of the two sermon texts was Ecclesiastes 3 (‘a time to be born, a time to die…’), a text that, as the preacher pointed out, had ‘launched a thousand tea towels’! In fact it was really good, partly because it largely ignored the title except for the word ‘time’. Obviously it was not perfect, and I added in bits, and made connections, in my head as we went along which were clear improvements ;) – who said sermons were not interactive. Anyway for my own benefit I’ll try my weak best to summarise what she said.

  • Ecclesiastes has a negative understanding of how significant the things we do really are. This may be contrasted with Proverbs.
  • Verses 1-8 must be understood in the light of what follows (vs. 9-13) and especially v.11 (‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.’)
  • Braking v. 11 up: time can be beautiful; but still we are designed to long for more; that more is in God, yet God is hard to reach and comprehend.
  • While we may toil under the sun, God did not stay distant but came close in Christ’s incarnation.
  • Looking at Rev 22 we see that time is a part of God’s plan for eternity – time is not inherently tyrannical.
  • We are caught in-between times trying to live in the eternity, which has already begun in our lives, while also being under the sun as Ecclesiastes describes.

It gets harder to remember the exact order of things now, but she continued along something like.

  • In the light of the above it may seem that it doesn’t matter what we do with our time. Paul however opposes such a view and encourages us to make the most of every opportunity, and to be alert to Christ’s coming.
  • If you want some time management advice try the Internet or go on a course.
  • Make sure you spend time with God.

This may be the first time I wish I had taken notes to a sermon. Partly I suppose because she didn’t stick to a text.


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