And Time Stood Still

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On the day the Lord gave the Amorites into the power of Israel, Joshua spoke to the Lord in the presence of the Israelites: “Sun, stand still at Gibeon! and Moon, at the Aijalon Valley!” The sun stood still and the moon stood motionless until a nation took revenge on its enemies. Isn’t this written in the Jashar scroll? So the sun stood motionless in the middle of the sky. For a whole day, it was in no hurry to go down. There hasn’t been a day like it before or since, when the Lord responded to a human voice. The Lord fought for Israel. Then Joshua along with all Israel came back to the camp at Gilgal. (Joshua 10:12-15, Common English Bible).

I can’t speak for you, but I have had those days where time just seems to stand still. Because I have a great deal more freedom over my schedule these days it doesn’t seem to happen very often now, but prior to my ministry days, days I was stuck in the office, sometimes with little to do, the time just crawled by. I can remember at one point during the day, one time, I really thought my watch was broken or the battery had died or something but every time I would look at my watch I thought it was the time I had seen at what had to have been two hours ago.

There are those times, even these days in ministry (perhaps I should say especially these days in ministry) I wish time would stand still, maybe not for a whole day but at least for two or three hours to give me a chance to get caught up with all the work seeming to stack up in the pile on my desk.

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In the story above, God gave Joshua and the Israelites all the time they needed to accomplish the task at hand. God does the same for us. The problem is, not everything we do is something God would have us do. For the things God gives us, God will give us the time we need to accomplish the goal.

Here’s the thing. God will give us the time to accomplish God given assignments. That doesn’t mean God is going to give us the time needed to accomplish assignments from an unreasonable boss. It doesn’t mean we are going to have time to complete the honey-do list. Please understand, I am not advocating ignoring the boss or neglecting your spouse. We might find ourselves in some pretty deep trouble when we fail to do those things.

I chose the timepiece with no hands to signify God’s time. Our time and God’s time are not the same. We are stuck with 24 hour days and eight hour work days and probably, at least for most of us, the need to wear a watch around on our arm (though with cell phones some are getting away from watches, but the cell phone serves the same purpose).

It would be my guess, God probably isn’t going to stop time for the world in order for you to get something done. God’s done it once. It showed God’s power. For the rest of us, it is a matter of putting things in order according to their priority and then get to work.

I have been reading some different ideas about time management lately. These authors are saying many of us spend our time working on what is critical rather than on what is important. They say, if we do that, we need to re-evaluate our priorities.

Still, probably the best thing we can do in setting those priorities is pray. That might be a particularly good idea if God, your boss and your spouse are all asking you to do something at the same time.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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