Thursday, August 23, 2007

Time

I have been thinking alot about time-having time for things, or feeling like there is not enough time. How much time do I need to cram 24 ways to say the word "the" in Greek into my head. How long will I have to translate these sentences? How quickly time has passed from when I got here last week.
How long it has been since I texted my kids or emailed my Mom and Dad. How short was the time I spent with my husband over lunch yesterday.
And it is easy to get sucked into the vortex of studying and stressing and memorization and the whole learning/testing cycle. But yesterday hit the wall and my brain just needed a break. And I was kind of clunking around, wondering what to do to avoid the nagging presence of my Greek. And yet I really should stay focused.
In the midst of this, one of my classmates, who is from Ethiopia, and has come to Virginia to obtain education, was meeting with his candidacy committee. And I thought I had stress!
Here is a man who has come here with his family, is still learning the crazy ins and outs of our language and Greek on top of it. He has left Ethiopia where he was an evangelist in the Lutheran Church to come here to become a pastor. And he is doing this while serving a church for Ethiopians here in Virginia, where he plays the organ, preaches and teaches. He began by posting flyers at the airports and other places where Ethiopians would see and he has a growing congregation serving a ministry need. He has a wife and three children as well.
And so as I rejoiced and praised God with him last evening that he has been given positive entrance by his Synod, I thought some more about perspective and time.
The night before his interview I sat with him and listened to his story and we shared candidacy experiences. Last night we could spend some time being glad.
And while it is important that I work hard, it cannot be any more important than being present to others.
And when I think about whatever sacrifices I am making to be in this place, my classmate really is proof that God will move mountains much bigger than my worries for the sake of His church.
And since we really only get so much time, we should try to be good stewards of it, not just in the busy work of a day, but in the connections we make and the relationships we build.
In Ephesians, Paul writes in chapter 5, verse 15 that we are to be careful how we live, making the most of our time. True enough, but I think that even more defining is the words of the earlier chapter, Chapter 4, 1-7 in which he urges fellow believers to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We are one body, one Spirit, with one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all.
We each have different gifts, we come from different lands, and times, but the more that we can remember this unity of purpose and spirit, we and the church will be strengthened and sustained, even when 24 ways to say "the" is calling.
I have seen a great video about time and how we use the gift of it. Unfortunately I cannot directly post it here, so I offer the link:
http://www.thetimemovie.com

Enjoy the gift of time God has given to you this day!

6 comments:

Diane said...

ah, time... never enough, more valuable than money.
thanks for the link, too.

Gannet Girl said...

Twenty-four ways to say "the"?

Not good news.

The story of the Ethiopian gentleman is amazing.

LawAndGospel said...

And 24 ways to say "this" and "that" and he, she and it. But there are patterns. Once you learn them it is a little better. Not sure- do you have to learn Greek also?

Gannet Girl said...

Ayep.

David said...

"And while it is important that I work hard, it cannot be any more important than being present to others."

Very pastoral words to live by.

Pastor Eric said...

I couldn't agree with David more. During my first two years of seminary I spent way too much time at the church I was working at and with school work and not enough time with my wife (at the time we were dating). I am glad you spent time with your classmate.

Thanks for the story.