Don't Push the River!
For reading & meditation - Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven ..." (v. 1)
Refuse to be obsessed with time. It is right to be concerned about time, but it is not right to be obsessed with it. Do you live life by the clock? Then you are a candidate for stress. When filmmakers want to create tension, they show a clock relentlessly ticking away. Such tactics are pointless when applied to the ordinary issues of everyday life. Nervous glances at a watch will generate tension when you are caught in traffic, but they will not make the traffic move any faster. Fretting will do nothing to alter the situation. So learn to relax, and do not become intimidated by time. Some people live life as if they are on a racing track, and set themselves rigid lap times for the things they want to accomplish during the day. Two motorists were given the task of driving for 1,700 miles. One was asked to drive as fast as he could without breaking any speed limits; the other was told to drive at any comfortable pace. At the end of their journeys, it was found that the faster driver had consumed ten gallons more gas and doubled the wear on his tires; by driving at a speed which, in the end, proved to be only two miles per hour faster than the other driver! A man said to me in a counseling session when I advised him to slow down: "The trouble is that I'm in a hurry - but God isn't!" Learn the wisdom of letting things develop at their own pace, and follow the maxim that says: "Don't push the river - let it flow."
O Father, save me from being obsessed by time. Help me to see that I have all the time in the world to do what You want me to do. And when I am overconcerned, I am overwrought! Help me, dear Father. Amen.
For Further Study
1. How can we redeem the time?
2. To what does James relate this?