When the Right Time Came
“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son . . .” Galatians 4:4
During my short lifetime, I have witnessed the advent of the personal computer or PC, the change from green screens to full-color flat panel screens, from figuring out what the printout is going to look like from the commands you see on the screen to WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) word processing. And now, you can carry a device half the size of a Cracker Jack box that you can use as a phone, a video conference tool, a way to connect to the super computers of “the web”, as a text and e-mail station . . . you can use it as a camera, an entertainment system, a GPS guidance system, and even as a flashlight. It’s out there, and it’s in my pocket. As the saying goes: Only in America!
Every piece of technology we invent changes the way we live and behave. Technology, if not monitored, can pull us into its world. Case in point: the average person now spends more time interacting with their cellphone than they do watching TV. We actually get addicted to these little devices. In case you’re wondering what the name of this addiction is, it’s nomophobia. Take your mobile device and look it up.
What does this show? As Americans, we have an addiction to the “next best thing.” But we also carry this powerful sense of guilt that whenever we take time to set aside the gadget, take time to be quiet, to pray, to come to worship, to spend time with family, we feel guilty or worse: We think that if we can’t be with our gadgets, we’re missing something.
To center our attention, one of the most calming phrases in the Bible is found in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. “When the time had fully come . . .” This phrase tells us that there is a right moment for things to happen. It’s not ours to plan that moment, but it is ours to recognize it. It is also the wonderful reminder that we are not the primary agents of what happens in the world, but God gives us the privilege to join in the work.
“When the time had fully come . . .” Opportunities open themselves wherever the Spirit leads. The challenge is to see every moment as a gift given to you and me by God. With this wonderful gift, we ask for the discernment to know what each moment may require. It’s hearing God’s call to pray, to care, to encourage, to discipline, to trust. It’s a call to follow Jesus through the hectic mess to meet what matters most in God’s heart. It all leads to an adventure-filled life. That call meets us at work, at school, at Wal-Mart, wherever we go. The nudge of the Spirit is always to listen, to wait for the “fullness of time,” and then to reach out when called upon.
As a church, we have elected leaders to positions where they need to be receptive to God’s call for all of us. Keep them in your prayers. God’s Kingdom comes. As the nudge of the Spirit visits you, join in the work!
Keep and live the faith,
Pastor David G. Dahl
January 10, 2024
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