Posted by: amylamb | November 21, 2011

Not My Time

I am writing from an aisle seat of a flight bound for Tokyo, and I do not have time to be here.

My calendar for next week looks much like all the others. It’s full of deadlines for work, school and various editors; appointments with friends, professors and coworkers; meetings for honors societies and church functions and reminders of birthday cards to write, credit card balances to pay and proposals to turn in. But this week, I won’t be doing any of that. (Well, I did pay the credit card balance, but that’s beside the point).

This week, the tyranny of my time will have to wait because there is a call that resounds louder than the unceasing nag of my calendar. It is not that I am here despite my lack of time – I am here because I will never have time. I am here because there is a need of eternal proportions beyond the scope of my daily circle of influence. I am here because the God of my limited perspective is also the God of the great big world beyond it, and he beckons me to “taste and see.”

It would have been much easier to write a check, ship some supplies and make a Skype call to say, “Hope that helps, God bless you.” It would have also been much easier for the Creator to respond to the urgent need of his creation by speaking redemption into life in one fleeting moment from the lofty realm of heaven. Instead, he set an example for us by showing up. As John 1 of the Message paraphrase version says, “He moved into the neighborhood.” Neither did he simply appear for a day or two to shake hands, sign autographs, kiss babies and talk about hope and change and stuff – he lived among us for 33 years, and he even left the Holy Spirit to be here, among us, once his physical presence departed. Why? Because there is immeasurable value in the act of being there.

So as I sit in this airplane seat, attempting to use Mumford & Sons to drown out the sound of screaming babies, the indecisive ‘ding’ of the seatbelt sign and the drone of the engines that are so graciously keeping me suspended thousands of feet above the Pacific Ocean, I am grateful for the gift of being here. I am grateful to have been sought after, even before I knew I needed to be sought. I am grateful to have my name written on God’s agenda, and I am on this plane to personally accompany the message of redemption that changed my agenda forever. I am here because this is God’s agenda – to go, to see, to pursue, to disciple, and to enjoy. That is the grand adventure that is prepared for us, and it is well worth the meager sacrifice of our time, our resources, and most importantly, our presence.

I do not have time to be here, but it’s not my time anyway.

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