(Picture found at aware.org)
The prophet is a friend of God and speaks the truth. Just to name a few things here: he helps kings and priests know what God is doing and saying now. He does miracles and expresses God’s will in amazing creative ways to help us grasp God’s thought through symbol, image and metaphor. Taking time to pursue God and what He is saying, to express that is moving prophetically, especially to encourage others and build them up, giving them direction.
I asked God to talk to me about time. I had barely finished asking the question and there in mind I suddenly saw an image of a river. There was no landscape, just a blue river. The top was fairly flat but the bottom was following the contours of the invisible landscape.
Suddenly, the color of the river shot up into the sky. It looked a good bit like one of those raggedy bands of a voice signature, except mostly towards the top, the bottom didn’t move much. I thought to myself, it looks like the river of time is touching heaven, and maybe God is speaking into this river.
Time is like a river sometimes. A creek or river may be high, full and powerfully rushing on, carrying things along with it, leaving many things stranded behind as a memory. Other times a riverbed is scant and dry. The flow has diminished to a trickle.
One definition I have heard for time is that it is a marking of the intervals between events. The ticking of a clock, the dripping of the first water clocks, the bells that chime on the hour, half hour and quarter hours mark off to us by sound what is happening in space and time. Events continue relentlessly, or seem to slow and slide and dull way down past the languid thoughts of an idle mind. How quickly things are coming one after another makes time seem to fly by or just barely creep along.
As we go through a day, although we can try to leverage our time to be efficient according to the list we are working on of things to do or accomplish, still unexpected things can throw us off and we may get off track or lose momentum altogether. Sometimes when time is short I actually try to work slower, and more carefully in order not to have to go back and fix a rushed job that comes out sloppy. One saying is “make haste, slowly”. I love the old saying “the hurrier I go, the behinder I get!”, it’s just not good to be impatient when things are happening slower than you think they should.
But there are funny things that happen. Sometimes we just know what to do next. We get to glide along knowing we have a plan and it will all be done in a little while, so there is no real hurry, we get done when we finish, there less anxiousness and a sense of calm in our activity. We become one with the work and the flow seems very natural and complete.
What’s really neat is when inspiration, intuition, or revelation come into play. You know, sometimes the phone rings and you know who it is before you look or answer. You just know some things and you can’t say why. They say women have strong intuition. Women juggle many things at once and communicate so freely that sometimes there is a just a knowing that comes and they are sure of something beyond any factual evidence. They just know what is going on. In old private eye fiction the investigator frequently had a hunch, a gut feeling, maybe they could “smell a rat” and knew who the bad guy was. This is not the same thing as suspicion but it is a subtle glimpse ahead that happens sometimes that we just know in our “knower”.
Just as we see more from higher up, our spirits apprehend more than our 5 senses can. The Spirit of God knows more than the deductive reasoning of a Sherlock Holmes can insinuate into the tiniest of clues. And when we learn to rely on intuition and glimpses of insight through prayer, listening for answers, often we can truly let God direct our days. We give Him our lists and ask simple questions, looking for that intuition, hunch, or discernment of what is just the next best right thing to do. The more we do it, the better we get at it.
The Word of God says there is a way that seems right to a man, he thinks he has it all figured out, but the end of that road is really death! Disaster! So stop, and ask for help. The word says those who are led by the Spirit of God are the Sons of God. Dedicate your plans to God and He will make your paths straight.
Sometimes I just ask Jesus, “what do I need to do next?” and then an answer, an instruction, or maybe a mental image of something I need to do kind of pops into my head or runs through my mind. And it may not be in the flow of my normal reasoning flow in my self-talk, it may not seem obviously sound advice, but when I follow these flashes of inspiration then I am usually very glad I did, and find that I avoided some real problems or delays.
The most recent obvious example I can think of where God changed my timing was when I was doing a little lawn mowing for a client and I was nearing the end of the job. I had asked God to help me do a great job as I often do. This woman usually leaves me a check on her porch. I started to take the check to the truck to write up the job there so I could start my vehicle and do my billing with the air conditioner blasting.
I went to pick the check up and heard “leave it there”. I knew it wasn’t an ordinary thought, I wasn’t sure why I needed to leave it there but I did. I finished up and went to the porch with my invoice book and wrote the receipt. As I did, I looked from the chair on her porch over the yard and realized suddenly that I had forgotten to run the trimmer around the little flag and bird feeder! I had thought I was well done but I wasn’t. I finished that little bit of weed-eating with gratitude that God helped me do a better job by shifting my timing and changing my point of view.
Time is fluid. Often it depends on how fast things are happening, and sometimes on how fast your mind is running on. But this river of time that are the events of a day can be better tackled by giving those plans up to God and asking Him for direction. If He sees all things from all sides all at once all the time, He probably knows what would be best to do next.
Rivers are filled with waters that fall from the sky. Living water is water that is moving, that is moving and active. Let God touch the river of your time and give you inspiration to accomplish more than you thought you could, better than you imagined you can.
Choosing to make time to look at how you will spend your time is a great step. Setting goals to achieve and dreams to live out is good too. But as the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. It takes some patience, and it takes knowing yourself, – like knowing what you can and can’t do, what motivates you,… and it helps to learn some efficiency tricks and apply them, even if you are learning them all over again like me. Then there is always day to day life to master as well, and sometimes it’s a challenge to find joy in the moments as they pass and to be someone who others like to be around at the same time.
One awesome idea is to take the main roles you play in life, father, husband, business owner, etc, and make a list of good goals for each role. Then find one thing to do in each role you play that week that will make the very most difference in that area or relationship in your life, and find a way to squeeze it into your schedule. Do something special for someone in your life, or do a little project or repair that gets other things back on track. You will be leveraging improvement into each main area of your life, if you plan weekly like I tend to do, you’ll be surprised how quickly things get better.
And yet, it may be that you are as over committed as I am, and only one ‘big thing’ a month is really possible in some roles or areas of your life. Still, choosing to pick stuff that makes everything move forward in excellence, and momentum, and joy, and involvement can give you increased pleasure and accomplishment over time. So to get more enjoyment and satisfaction out of life means using your God given right of free will. Freely willing to do something means choosing, purposing, and exerting your will-power.
At the same time I chose to make Monday a planning and resource day every week, I also picked an evening in the week to re-institute a date night with my wife. I need the control, freedom and satisfaction that increased planning can give, but the most important relationship in my life needs more fun, joy, and the expectation of good things coming.
And the inspiration that came after prayer on maybe the first or second night we took off together was basically this: “act as if you don’t have a care”. I said, “thanks Holy Spirit, that’s a great idea.” Applying that simple thought was so freeing. There was spontaneity and a lighthearted mood that made the night delightful. Later, I just happened turn to this verse in my Bible, 1Cor 7:32a says “But I want you to be without care.” Imagine that.
Time can be a tool if you know what you doing and what you are wanting. Tools make things easier. Freeing up time to plan and to have fun will make you more free over all. So get freed up and spend some time without a care. You can do that because you already planned the rest of your cares a place and a time to happen.
Frustration with everyday stuff, can escalate into frustrations with hopes and dreams, but if steps keep being taken, and identified, then there really still is hope. The Bible actually says ”hope does not disappoint”. Some things take time. Jesus said, “in patience possess ye your souls”. There is something of this aspect of “the fruit of the Spirit” that helps keep us on track. Patience ~ repeated effort, aim, and focus over time.
Having a lot of hopes and plans that keep getting forced out of top spot on your lists and out of your sights to aim for can bring more hopelessness and despondency, but the idea is to focus on the good and be drawn towards it, instead of focusing on the bad and what is lacking and drawing that closer to you instead.
God told Joshua, “This Word of Life shall not depart out of your mouth, and you will meditate in it night and day”. So it is with a Life Dream, for that is the assignment on your life, and your life is from God, and so there is favor on that assignment, if you will be constant. A ‘mission statement’ is useful to help steer by, but a ‘business plan’ towards a life dream is laying out the plan to walk by. Keep going back to it, over and over (2 Pet 1:19).
So, I made a step about the time I made the first blog in this series, I made a step to set aside a day each week for planning and home chores, and there is some good there. I have to keep defending that time though. I also feel like there is a purpose in tracking what I do then, how I spend that time, so I can make even that more efficient. John F Lawhon said, “What gets measured improves”. Studying what is happening leads to observations, conclusions and new ideas, much like the scientific method.
The phrase “breaking the time barrier” came to me last week. What happens “to us” can make us feel like victims of events. What happens “through us” can make us feel able and powerful. Taking control of our time breaks barriers of impossibility. Asking God for help gives us new inspiration because He sees things from above, from all sides at once through all time, and so He can give us great and helpful hints and instruction.
There was a sonic boom released when we broke the sound barrier. It was a shock wave that announced the new breakthrough. Breaking the time barrier should do something of the same. It should shake the heavens and the earth. Daniel, a friend on FaceBook, said God was “so fast that when He speaks it releases light”. That’s a fascinating statement.
We know that science fiction says if we go faster than the speed of light we can go back or forward in time. Leveraging time makes it a tool. Time is called a “beggarly elemental principle of the universe”. It is something the scriptures say that we are no longer subject to as “new creation beings”, but I think the revelation of that has something to do with walking with our risen Lord Jesus, it’s not something we do on our own, or else it gets twisted back into selfishness and all the calamity that short view produces (“there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end of that road is death”).
Walking with Him makes all things possible, and He said if we seek first His Kingdom, everything else we need will be granted to us.
Salvation, healing, sanctification, resurrection, all these rebuke time and it’s effects, and they are in His hands, and we see the fruit of them through Him and His Word and ‘The Church That Is Alive’, His Bride. So, although it is counter-intuitive, stopping all else and stealing time to be with God, to think, reflect, dream, capture vision and inspiration, that is what can give you mastery over time.
Walking with the One who created time and all matter, this matters a lot. It’s not religion, it’s relationship. God wants to partner with you to walk out destiny and create new manifestations of the kingdom coming on the earth. “Then you will make your way prosperous, and have great, good success”.
It makes you want to live “by every word that comes out of His mouth”, by each thing the Spirit gives you, “not just by bread alone”, not just by circumstances that seem to dominate. And we can. We can rise above it, taking the time to make time for what is most needful. If we choose it, then like Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet, it won’t be stolen from us.
A “reverie” is like a state of daydreaming or thinking of good things. Daydreaming of how things can be, can be better, dreaming of what we might want, this can be very useful useful stuff. I have been under the impression for a long time that I need to write a blog, and that it is called The Reverie, and that it is about Freed Up Time. I believe that writing this blog will bring me closer to my goals, to the things I have been dreaming of, and that it will help me to free up my time and inspire others to have a better quality of life also. God gives dreams and visions and even instructions for good things, hopefully this will also be an exercise in writing with God.
‘Freed up time’ is what I crave, to enjoy life, my wife, the things we have, maybe sometimes just to have time to waste. But I seem to be living under the tyranny of lists and deadlines. My needs are clearly defined, all too well, and I feel the pressure of what hasn’t been done yet, but, what about my wants, our dreams, lofty goals? I am doing necessary things like household chores, building a business, dealing with crucial timely matters that crop up; and I am doing some assignments from God such as premarital counseling, planning a marriage ceremony, holding house church meetings, witnessing and stuff, but, I have to make time for what I want also, or else it just won’t happen.
I like doing what has to be done, doing it well, choosing to enjoy that, but it takes all my time at this point. So, actually putting date nights with my wife Ginny, and time for house and yard improvements and more on my schedule first, before anything else, will force me to be more efficient with the rest of my time. It will make me take a look at how what I am doing is really working, and what I might need to do about that. So first, I am now intent on scheduling freed up time. Everything else will have to come into alignment with that. We are going to see how this goes.
Recently I was given a bunch of tomato cages and some fencing. Then I found a bunch of fencing by the road that I picked up. I decided that this was not all just happenstance, it was a sign, God speaking to me through some related incidents. I was being given support to be fruitful – the tomato cages. And, that I need to set up more boundaries in my life – represented by the fencing. I wondered if this was primarily physical or spiritual or mental, but it all overlaps. Today I think it’s about boundaries on my time.
I have done time management before, seen daydreams come to life. It helped a lot. I just started getting ready for what I imagined and the next thing I knew, there it was! So I am doing a new thing, again. I am planning it, thinking about it, writing down thoughts, watching for inspiration. I hope you will come with me on the journey so that your dreams will be more defined, and that you will make time for the strategies that bring your dreams to life, bring your life up to that level of actually living out a dream come true.