Race Against Time

News agencies and experts around the globe echo the same assessment, Japan is in a race against time. The race competitors are Japan’s efforts to stop a nuclear disaster vs. Time. Right now time is in the lead. The methodical tic-toc continues on in spite of all the resources, expertise, and efforts that man has put forth in the last week. Every new idea, every new ounce of man power is met by the relentless and tireless continuation of time.

There are other participants in this race. The melting rods, radiation leaks, even lack of sleep are all players in this race. But, none of them would have any chance at all at beating the Japanese without their ally–Time. Men get tired. Time never does. Equipment fails. Time is flawless. Mistakes cripple plans. Time is always whole.

 The seriousness of the circumstances in Japan in their race against time has given me a hypothesis…

Each and every human being is in a race and their greatest competitor is TIME!

I don’t think this is really earth shattering news to anyone, but events like what Japan is facing brings us face to face the reality of that statement.

Each one of us may have other competitors in our life race, but the one that is common to us all and will in the end win the race of life is TIME! Before you accuse me of being a fatalist, let’s look at some facts. Fact number one, we all will die. Fact number two, time will continue after we die. Fact number three, we all will have unfinished business, things not done, goals yet to be achieved when we die. No one dies having accomplished all they wanted to. Therefore, fact number four…Time Wins…Every…Time.

But, there is one more very important fact to input into this equation and His name is Jesus Christ! He alone is the victor over time. It’s easy for Him. He created it. He controls it. And for His disciples, they too, will win in the race against time. As His child, this brings me great comfort and a great challenge.

It is a comfort because when I die it will appear that time has won, but appearances can be deceiving. My death is not the end of me, it is the beginning of how God intended me to be. My life without the competitor of time, eternity. I look forward to that.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” I Thessalonians 13,14

It is a challenge because I will give an account of how well I have run my race against time. Sometimes I am ashamed for my poor showings vs. time. Today was such a day and time would like to keep me pinned down. But, I don’t have to stay down and I will not stay down. Not because I’m such a great race runner, but because I know the Victor over time!

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

I pray the people of Japan will continue to be strong competitors in their race against time. And I am grateful God is in control of their need. Time may rattle on, but God often gives man the edge…just in the nick of time.

Time to Hit the Road

My daughter and I took this saying, “Time to hit the road”, a little too literally recently with a road trip that encompassed 3000 miles of “road hitting” over ten days. Yikes! It all started with a short jaunt (3.5 hrs) down the road to see my son perform as an unexpected understudy in a community theater production of “Inherit the Wind”. He did a great job with only seven days to learn his lines and rehearse.

Then we were back up the same road to drop off hubby before heading on the intended trek to sunny Florida and my in-laws! Talk about perfect timing. When we left the Midwest it was mid sixty’s and sunny. The very next day, the temps dropped thirty degrees and it was rainy/snowy/freezing rain the whole time we were gone.

Florida, on the other hand, had been cooler temps in the weeks before we got there. But the day we arrived it was a toasty 85 degrees with sunny skies and low humidity. The whole week was that way. We did not complain.

I thought I would have plenty of time for writing here and in my book, but I underestimated just how much time 3000 miles takes, along with visiting long lost relatives, site seeing and beach combing. Next time I will know to work ahead and utilize publishing schedules.

With all those road miles I did ponder various road sayings and recalled one that has led to a renewed appreciation for an old, but insightful poem. Read on…

Hit the Road: We take this idiom for granted as meaning to start a journey or to start traveling, but I am wondering when people started using this phrase in this way. I haven’t had much luck in finding the answer. But, I will keep looking and wonder if any of you know.

Hit the Road Jack: This was a #1 hit in 1961 song by Ray Charles and written by Percy Mayfield. I bet you’re singing it now, aren’t you. “Hit the road Jack. And don’t you come back no more, no more”

The Road Less Traveled:  This means, “the unconventional or univestigated option” and comes from the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.  I probably studied this poem in some high school English class, but the title didn’t ring a bell, so I looked it up.  It’s very profound. Not surprising for Frost. Here it is so you don’t have to look it up.
From Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken, 1920:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Mr. Frost, I must say that I too have taken the “one less traveled by” and am so glad I did!

Defining the Times

There are no less than 65 definitions for the word “time”. Is it any wonder we have trouble discerning exactly what someone means in the use of this word. I am sure you know that the Bible has a lot to say about time and it got me wondering if I could match some of these 65 definitions with an appropriate Scripture.

*”the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.”

“For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.” Psalm 32:4

“Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.” Psalm 139:12

*“a limited period or interval, as between two successive events: a long time.”

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10    

*”duration regarded as belonging to the present life as distinct from the life to come or from eternity; finite duration”

For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” Matthew 24:21

*”a period of work of an employee, or the pay for it; working hours or days or an hourly or daily pay rate.”

But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? ‘Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. ‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye  envious because I am generous?’ “So the last shall be first, and the first last.” 
Matthew 20: 13-16

*”to appoint or choose the moment or occasion for; schedule”

“And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” Daniel 2:21 (NKJ)

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?” Isaiah 40:21

In the beginning God created…time! Time is created for us. God doesn’t need it or exist by it. Time exists by God.  Without God time would be irrelevant and so would we! With God time should be our servant, but often we are time’s slave. And with God, we shall continue to “be” even when time is no more.

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare aplace for you.If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also.” John 14:2-3

(All Scripture is NASB unless otherwise noted)