Life Outside of Time?

Time is uneven, if linear, for mere mortals.  We do not experience it with the regularity of a stopwatch.  We all remember summer days that seemed to last forever, bittersweet goodbyes that did not last long enough, or your life flashing before your eyes of your last car accident.  In moments like these, the subjectivity of time peeks through. 

God is outside of time.  If He created time, why should His experience and perception of time be as linear and constrained as it (usually) is for us?

If the God you follow is outside of time, could He ever bend the “rules” for you?  The idea is this: God blesses us when we do not deserve it, but he also loves to be generous to us in the ways that we are generous toward Him and to others.  If we give freely of our resources (money, time, service, care), should we not expect Him to give freely of His?

I think of God’s admonition to His people to bring true sacrifice in Malachi.   “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings.  You are under a curse– the whole nation of you– because you are robbing me.   Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.   Malachi 3:8-10 

I think of Christ’s promise to His disciples.  Instead of running after food, drink, and clothing — what your body needs — “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:33 

In this passage, God does not promise free food and clothes.  Do not quit your job.  Be a responsible worker, but remember that those responsibilities come second.  You are more than your job.  Seek first the Kingdom of God.  Live in light of your love of Him and of your neighbor, by His grace. 

We can be courageous in sacrificing time and energy in order to serve others and to pray, even if it means that we won’t be putting in twelve hour days at the office.  But don’t be surprised if God blesses you even more abundantly with what you truly need than if you had spent a month of twelve hour days. 

And we must be wise, knowing that some days we should love God and other by putting in those extra hours.  But we cannot make the mistake of depending on a lifestyle of long hours and our own efforts as the source of blessing.   

You may end up with more time than you think you had.  Joshua tells us (10:13):  the sun stood still for him over Gibeon. 

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Mmm Mmm God!

Taste the Glory

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  He said, “Let there be food!”  And there was much food.  And he said, “Let men eat!”  And men ate.  And it was delicious.  It still is.

Few things in life are more amazing than food.  Yet some of us take it for granted, ignoring it, resenting the inconvenience, and avoiding it, even.  Others of us make it an addiction and an obsession.  Still, none of this abrogates the fact that food is good and is one of God’s chief means of expressing His love for us.

When God led His people out of Egypt, He made sure that they first ate  a symbolic but hearty meal, both so that they could prepare for their journey and so that they could repeat it every year to remember their deliverance.  When Jesus was preparing to die, He performed a new version of that same meal, that His disciples might remember their deliverance and their dependence on Him.  When He rose from the dead and the disciples were freaking out and thought He was a ghost, He ate some of their fish.  Later, He appeared to them on the lake shore and, when they were freaking out with excitement, He made them breakfast.  Then He lovingly chastised Peter: “Feed my sheep.”

In Judaism and in Christianity, food is the prime metaphor for our understaning our relationships with God and with each other.  But it is more than that.  It is worship for the senses, the smell and taste of redemption.

God didn’t have to make us to eat.  We could have photosynthesized like plants.  And food didn’t have to taste good.  But it does.  God be praised!

Let us neither forget those who are without food, nor be slow in delivering it to them, for food is our primary means of expressing love to those in need.  God, help us!