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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When God Made Time

Late one night, high above the Atlantic Ocean, I was challenged by this statement, "There is always time to do the will of God." I have difficulty sleeping on overseas flights, so I turned my attention to my current devotional book. The writer asked if we agreed or disagreed with that statement. Sure. I agree--there must be enough time to do God's will. I remember the sound of the jet engine and looking out the window at the stars above and the vast waters below and questioning myself. Then why do I feel so stressed, always wishing for more hours in a day?

My husband and I were leading a missions team of 27 people from our church in Wichita, Kansas, to Ireland. While everyone else was sleeping (or at least trying to sleep) my mind was pondering that interesting statement--"There is always time to do the will of God," and all of its implications for my busyness.

We landed in Dublin and were greeted by a wonderful Irish couple, a very small bus, and two cars. We piles in the vehicles and headed to one of the most beautiful spots on the earth--Carraig Eden in Greystones, Ireland. Needless to say, the beauty of Ireland crowded out the thoughts from my devotions. I was overwhelmed by cars driving on the left side of very narrow streets, thatched roofs, brightly colored doors, sheep, and the greenest grass I'd ever imagined. Once we arrived at the Bible college, the students won our hearts and we began to work on the many tasks we had come to complete.

One of the first things we noticed was the different pace of life in Ireland. A very relational people, the Irish enjoy taking time for tea and lingering over meals. To be completely honest, this was a real challenge for many on our team. My husband went to a nearby hardware store and had to wait for 20 minutes while the owners finished visiting over their tea. We soon realized that our fast-pased American way was being challenged.

Late one evening, after a full day's work and a delicious Irish meal, several of us walked along the Irish Sea shore. We came upon a kind, elderly Irish gentlemen. His lovely accent was so captivating and his answers to our questions were so enlightening, that we stood late into the night engaging him in conversation. After an hour and a half, I thanked him for taking so much time with us. I'll never forget his response, "Oh, that's alright. When God made time, He made plenty of it."

I remember thinking, Wow, we aren't in Kansas anymore. I had never heard that statement before. As Americans, we are always hoping for more hours in the day, more days in the week, and more months in the year!

Spending those eight days in Ireland taught me a very important lesson--there is always time to do His will. So anytime I begin to feel overwhelmed, I ask myself--am I doing what He desires or am I filling my life with things I think are important? I don't want to ever forget the words and challenging truth of a kind Irishman, "Oh, that's alright. When God made time, He made plenty of it."

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