I jump into the cockpit and take to the skies zipping over towns and canyons. I look over my shoulders, left and right trying to escape my adversary. I engage in some aeronautical acrobatics, doing barrel rolls, backflips, nose dives, and accelerating past the speed of sound. My pursuer is getting closer and closer I can almost hear his voice calling my name, “Darryl Darryl.” He finally gets up beside me and he’s shouting, “Darryl, Darryl, the slow part doesn’t go fast.”
I finally snap out of my fantasy and I’m holding a little crop duster in a living room. The budding theologian Laine Lingle was trying to explain to me that we weren’t racing to a finish line. We were on a joy ride. I was suppose to see the sights and breath in the fresh air.
The slow part doesn’t go fast.
Question: How do we live in God’s time?
Scripture: Galatians 4:4-5
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6 And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our[a] hearts, crying, “Abba![b] Father!”
Like Marty Mcfly we have seen what is to come so we try to go Back to the Future, by reshaping and reworking our past. Thus ripping apart the fabric of present. We short change and skirt each moment of the day walking past our brothers and sisters with our gaze fixed on a future destination.
Or rather we are like a musician playing a tune in cut time that is meant for common. We speed past all the boring parts like the half and full notes, and forget the rests. We don’t worry about the slurs, the ties, staccatos, or any other dynamics. We just push past to the good parts all the while jacking up the melody in-between.
We live in an irregular time, where our past nostalgia and prejudices along with our future dreams and fears, distort the reality of our present.
We eat fast food five days a week because we don’t have time to sit down. We fast forward through commercials. We make New Years resolutions that have to be reached next week. We fall for all the “Get, Quick” schemes; get rich, get fit, get hair, get a date, the list goes on.
It seems as though we have done our best to warp time, neglecting the present day in favor of a life in the past and future. We put on our rose colored glasses and yearn for the good ol’ days when things were easier and better. Kids respected their parents, people had jobs, and racial strife ended during the late sixties. Or we sit on our hands and wait for the future that God will bring. So we tell the grieving and the down trodden, “Don’t worry things will get better you just wait and see.” Then we drive away in our cars back to our homes leaving them to fend for themselves and treat their own wounds.
This warped time has caused us to warp the one who has come, forgetting the life he lived and instead jumping straight to the resurrection. Like the pharisees who complained about Jesus healing on the sabbath, we are missing the point. Like the early church arguing about sprinkling babies or dunking adults, we are missing the point. Like arguing about who is allowed to come to the table, we are missing the point. And when we argue over who should or should not get married we are missing the point.
Through the incarnation, the Alpha and Omega has converged in our present day, being born into the fullness of our time. He didn’t pop out of the womb and take the throne or go straight to the cross. He was raised day by day. He was potty trained, he learned to love his parents and community, he learned the aramaic ABC’s, he was taught scripture…he learned how to love God in the fullness of time.
Christ’s coming has not ushered in a new time but it has shown us how to live into the fullness of time, a Kairos time, a time when everything happens at once, the past and future are folded onto the present. This time was initiated in the beginning and urges us not to dwell in, but to remember, our past and to not worry about what the future will bring but to have hope for it. It draws us to love our neighbors. To be a presence beside those who grieve the widow, the 1 orphan, the beggar. To live into the fullness of time Christ enters is to “…have life, and to have it in the
Eugene Peterson puts it this way, “the present moment more resembles eternity than any other, because in the present, the past and the future converge. The result or inability to fully experience the present…is a refusal to live freely. For the present is the only time in which freedom can be exercised or experienced. ”
The incarnation of God into the flesh frees us from the shackles of our past and the worries tomorrow will bring. We become free to dwell where Christ is, in the here and now; on the streets, under the bridges, in the hospitals, in the high rises, in our pain, in our joys, within us.
Shall we tell time differently in the New Year.
Because God has come to dwell among us, the fullness of time is counted in every second and every heartbeat. So fully dwell where you are so we may see the fullness of Christ in our midst.