Truth is Truth

"You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me." - Psalm 40:11 This is a sometimes monthly column concerning the truth of Christ Jesus and the issues that face our world as published in various newspapers and journals by Pastor Dave Seaford. You can return to the home page of the church by going to:

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Location: Redway, California, United States

Friday, March 03, 2006

Hey Man, Do you have the Time?

We live, for good or bad, in an “Instant Society.” We have come to believe that if we can’t get it “on demand,” at a fast food window, at one hour dry cleaning or 30 min. photo processing that it is simply not practical for our busy lives. But, the reality is (as my very wise, 3rd grade educated) grand daddy use to say: “Some things just take time, boy”!

It turns out that he was right and I have been in the road to re-discovering this bit of wisdom most of my life. For some reason, it just seems that I never really learn it permanently. Maybe it’s just that I continue to get sucked into the vortex of my “instant grits” lifestyle on such a regular basis that I forget. Or, maybe it’s the impatience of this type “A” personality that drags me around at lighting speed. What ever the reason, it seems that when I do finally stop long enough to address the very real issues that “just take time…” I re-discover both the solution to the very basic problems in my life AND simultaneously, the “real joy of living”!

The fact is that as a pastor it is difficult for me to admit that many times the root of many of my friends business and marital failures come from the fact that I either have not communicated the Biblical solutions that take time to teach and to learn, OR in spite of the fact that I have communicated them – people just have not learned. Either way it feels like a failure of the church and more specifically, a failure of mine!

I use to have a seminary professor that said: “If THEY have not learned, YOU have not taught.” I have never got past that statement, and therefore take the ministry very seriously. So here I am trying one more time to communicate this most blessed lesson of “Biblical Proportions” to anyone that will be wise enough to (not listen to MY words, but rather to) listen to the wisdom of my third grade educated grandfather, who whether he knew it or not, had picked up the “wisdom of the ages” from his “kin folk” by way of THE wisdom of the ages, God’s Holy Word.

The wisdom of Solomon (and my grand daddy) is this: “a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment, Because for every matter there is a time and judgment.” What Solomon is saying here is that a wise man takes the time necessary to get any and all information, consider other’s feelings and interests, think things through, consider what is right and make sound judgments, because if he does not the time will come in every situation where a judgment will be made for him, AND that judgment may be neither wise nor without major consequences.

Time. Have you ever noticed that there is never a good time to take time for certain things? Usually those “things” are the elements of our lives that we have begun to take for granted, assume to be permanent and thus delay addressing. Whether those things are business relationships or family relationships, the “institution” effected will be devastated when “time” is not taken to address these MOST important and MOST taken for granted “things” in our lives.

I don’t have time to go with you this weekend, you go by yourself.

Marriage Enrichment Retreat? What’s that got to do with us, our marriage is fine!

Father and Son day at the park? Son, it will have to be another time, I have to prepare for a meeting Monday.

The elements in our lives that take time are usually the backbone of our existence and yet our human nature entices us to put off those whom we can most easily put off “…And the Cat’s in the Cradle, and a silver spoon, little boy blue and the man in the moon, when you comin’ home son, I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then dad, I know we’ll have a good time then….”

Those haunting words from a 1970’s song still disturb some of us from that generation that did not heed the warning. But then Solomon saw it coming long before that. Maybe that is why it seemed so old fashioned when I was lectured by my mother’s dad so many years ago. Some “things” never change and the necessity to take the “time” to talk, work through issues, share in the things of life that make it all worthwhile, is one of those things that neither technology nor shortened attention spans can erase.

I was recently in a hotel lobby where breakfast was part of the hotel accommodation features. In that lobby was a waffle iron and several small cups of batter. As I began to make myself a waffle I noticed this small boy watching me intently. When the buzzer went off and I began to pull the golden brown delicacy out of the appliance, the little boy began to laugh almost uncontrollably. Turns out he thought all waffles came straight out of the freezer and into the toaster. This generation is going to need to be indoctrinated slowly, carefully, and patiently if they are ever to understand and then learn that “some things just take time boy"!