There is an essence to time. And one of the most fascinating and elusive aspects of time is timing. In football, a quarterback and receiver work relentlessly to perfect the timing of route-running and when to throw the ball where. In the kitchen, a cook seizes the right time to add seasoning, to flip the pan, to turn off the oven, to pull from the grill. Sometimes, in each of these cases, a second or a moment can be the difference between perfection and disaster.
When it comes to our lives, analyzing timing for the significant things of our lives cannot be easily understood or predicted, although we will try from time to time. But there are a few things that we can know, a few principles that can bring guidance and clarity.
We are in an ever-student state in this life. It is a fact given our limited mortal resource and capacity within and without. The choice is ours as to whether or not we will embrace this as a part of our lifestyle. This lends to the possibility of unreached potential, missed opportunities, unanswered callings.
But there are a couple things woven into this equation, if you will…a couple paradoxical items that some may think contradict each other. One is the willingness to step out, and the other is preparedness for that step.
Each of us is wired differently in our personalities and our physical make-up, and I believe this lends to how we come to center in our lives, where God is. I believe Christ knows exactly where we are and is ever able and willing to make the way to the Heavenly Father and with undying patience in our stubbornness, weakness, imperfection, fear, resistance.
But a question that looms in several of our minds is, how long does it take for us to make it to our destiny, or come to a centering balance in our lives, or fulfill what we are made for–or even figure out what we are made for? And how do we know when it is time to step out, if we even know which direction to step in?
If someone were to answer, you’ll know when you get there, they would be met with frustrated dissatisfaction. But they may be right. However, I think there is something that can help that answer make more sense.
If we feel a call or tug about something in our heart, we can assess what we may need to do to help prepare for that. But one of the most important preparations for fulfilling or pursuing something, especially if it is significant, is the preparation of the heart for deeper-layered surrender to God within. There is no getting around this, no substitute for it, as it is the ultimate preparedness for greater stewardship in our lives.
I believe this is the gauge of the track of our lives for preparedness more than skill or talent or ability anyone can have for something. And while I believe this is a lifelong process in and of itself, something we will never perfect until One Day when we are perfected by God, it is a door-opener and a path-maintainer. The more we operate from a posture of surrender, the better equipped we will be as a faithful, non-idolizing steward of things, great or small. And the more I believe we can maximize who we are in Christ to those we are serving or benefiting, no matter what the gift or call or vocation is.
I do not know when the time is for you or me to step out in any given circumstance ahead of time. But I do know that I will understand more clearly when those times come, and in the meantime, I can have peace in the process, making the most of where I am and what currently resides in my hands. And when I get too stirred within at staying where I am at, there resides the calling of the deep of God into the deep of my soul, go deeper, surrender a little more, and therein lies the door to a new experience, a new operation, a new place of service.
A hunger for humbleness and a realization deep within that everything is not for me, but Him: the more I grasp this, the more I find and experience my reason and purpose.
Picture: Japanese city courtesy of Bing search