Summer?! Already?! Yes, it’s official, we are in the first full week of Summer. It has become the norm in almost every conversation for someone to comment, “my, how time flies. Why, it seems like Easter was just two weeks ago and Christmas just the week before that.” Do you feel the rush of time? Does it seem to you that Summer got here faster this year than last?
I wonder if Jesus felt the rush of time. He had only three or four years to set in motion a chain of events and a movement that would change the course of human history. Did he feel the pressure of a deadline? Did he worry that time was slipping by so quickly that he wouldn’t be able to get everything done? I don’t think so. Jesus never seemed to be in a hurry or frantic about his schedule. Yet, at the end of his life on earth, he was able to say, “I have done everything my Father gave me to do. It is finished.”
There are two equally valid, equally Christian, but opposite responses to that rush-of-time feeling. The first is to remember that God is still in control of the clock and the calendar and time is not going by any faster than it did in Jesus’ day. It’s still about 24 hours from one sunrise to the next. He is also still in control of the events and circumstances of my life and yours and of the pace with which he brings them to us. Remembering that and trusting in his goodness and wisdom results in a calm, unhurried confidence about tomorrow. Jesus said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself.”
The second response is to realize that the return of Jesus draws closer every day, and that there are still very many people in our city—and our world—who have not heard who he really is and what he did for us. The result of that realization is a sense of urgency. Paul said, “Make the most of every opportunity.”
Is it possible for a Christian to have both a calm, unhurried confidence and a sense of urgency? Yes, it is possible, but it doesn’t happen by disciplined scheduling or by positive self-talk. It’s counterintuitive, but it happens when we actually spend more of our time in the presence of Jesus. Regular and/or extended times marinating in the Bible and in prayer to him embeds in us Jesus’ perspective on our life, the pace of our life, and the needs of the people he has put in our life.
As an experiment, try spending more time with Jesus this summer and then watch what happens.