Tuesday, September 09, 2008

TIME-OUT!

It used to be that the phrase, "Time-Out!" had positive connotations. In the midst of a game if some was hurt a "time-out" was called. If there needed to be a situation discussed, a "time-out" could be called. Even in friendly neighborhood antics, if things got a little crazy someone would call a "time-out" and a rest could be taken. Time-outs were good things.

But more recently they have taken on a rather negative aspect. When a child finds themselves in trouble, a parent or teacher, casts them to the "chair" or the "corner" for the dreaded "Time-out!"

Now, you parents, just cool your jets. I know that sometimes a "time-out" is needed for little Billy(why is it we always use "Billy?"). Yes, I know there are times when a child needs to be place in solitary confinement for their sake and more often for the sake of others. But that is not what I am getting at here.

My point here is that the idea of a time-out is now seen as a punishment rather than a time to bring safety and maybe even refreshment. More and more we are becoming a culture where stopping is a bad thing. Surely driving the sped limit is! We have too many places to be, too many things to accomplish.

I call it driving at the speed of Bluetooth.

We increasingly live at a pace that not only hinders but comes close to halting our ability to take a positive time-out. The danger here is that is we do not take regular time-outs we run the greater risk of having to take forced time-outs. Forced by the physical, emotional, and spiritual breakdowns that will occur when we live at the speed of Bluetooth.

Often, when we speak of tithing we focus our attention on making sure we give our 10%. But tithing encompasses so much more than just our money. Tithing is about giving glory to God. It is about making a declarative statement that all we have comes from, and thus belongs to, God. Therefore, all that we have must come under the blessing known as tithing. This is includes how we spend and direct our time, or in the case of this blog, our "time-outs."

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians that in every aspect of their lives they were to do it for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31) In the context the Apostle was taking about what was permissible for them to eat in regards to meet served before idols, but I believe the truth still holds for our context as well. In all the things we do in our lives, we are to do so to glorify God, and that includes how and where I spend my time and resources. And how and where I take my time-outs, so that I can be refreshed, for even in my refreshment God is glorified. In fact, maybe even more so in my time-outs, then in all the running I may do up and down the field of life.

So, what now?

I think we all need to take an honest evaluation of the speed and direction of our lives, so that we can make sure we take some "time-outs," lest, in our hast, we be placed on "time-out!"

Guess what I am preaching on this week? That is if you have time!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pastor,
Interesting subject matter. Earl is experiencing a BIG "time out" as he recovers from this massive heart attack. Life "as usual" is no more.....
Each day is a new gift from God's hand that we cherish.
He is learning new limitations to his strength and relying heavily upon the strength of the Lord...but in all of this...God IS getting the glory!!!! As he shares his miracle with the gal at Starbucks who waits on him every morning after his morning walk....the barber, the various waitresses around town, so many of our neighbors, the store clerks, all of his office co-workers, medical personnel here and there , many relatives etc....God is getting a LOT of glory.... and the astonishment on the faces of people is hysterical!! Some hardly know what to say...they are just amazed.
Time outs CAN be good for us and a blessing to others.
Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow..... Ruthie