“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Time passes and seasons change, life moves on and moments fade; true joy becomes a memory and the life making moments find a way to end. We beg for those times to stop, freeze, and hang onto us as if it is a secret never to be told. We long for just one more second to be lost in the beauty of pure perfection that life sometimes gives. The idea that the future can exist without those exact moments happening again burrows deep into a restless heart that is trying to grow deeper in faith. This idea rustles through my soul that the future will soon be the past and my thoughts will be drawn deep into the game of remembering and longing for a repeat of the moment that seemed to bring such fulfillment, such joy. Time, uninterrupted unconditional time, is my love language and I find myself hanging onto time in hopes of never losing love. So a future where time is stopped, those moments where my heart feels the most eternal deep love it can here on earth, had become a goal to hold onto; something I will never obtain this side of heaven.
Those perfect moments temp my present, daring me to try to stop time; but no matter how my heart begs the only thing that I’ve found when dealing with time is the promise of constant momentum and ultimately an ending. The endings often bring a sense of loss, joy enveloped with a sadness, profound brokenness all wrapped in the throbbing of perfection that one moment recklessly held. Those moments we need to hold tightly onto as we move forward on the road that promises more; more laughter, more holiness, and more deep unconditional love; but is it the time we should grab onto?
Many of the moments I long to grasp and hold onto tightly, to stop and stay in, are made on a road. A road is always moving forward and always seeking a new adventure. It never seems to be satisfied, it just keeps moving and gives way to undivided time and peace in the presence of those closest to you. It promises journey and life at every stop all while beckoning you to keep moving forward and never stopping for far too long. The stops only provide those heart quenching details that build the road into even more of a friend and dare you to dream of all the incredible things that lie at the next exit. Those detours are just moments that pause the movement of the road but never pauses time or the deepening of the friendship the road holds.
Over the last eight months time has been the thing I keep begging to stop, the thing I find myself longing to hold onto and desperately white knuckle gripping. I wanted to stop time to control the ending, to make certain this life doesn’t end in loss or pain. A few days ago, in a moment of time, I learned a tender truth I almost missed as one of our soccer players clung onto my shoe; time is a friend, a conduit, that brings the most beautiful heart-full joys into your life but time is not the thing to try to hold onto, no it’s not the thing that we truly want to possess; as I looked down and saw her hand gripping my shoe enjoying the time she had with me I felt a tug on my heart, we should be holding onto those that time allows us to be with not gripping the vessel that allows us to be with them. That husband that not only promises the world but delivers, yeah hang onto him; that friend your heart is intertwined with, hold tight to her; that mentor who loves you without any strings and who does in fact stop time for you, she is a keeper; that young girl who listens to your every word and sees someone she admires, what an honor to hold onto her; your little one whose grin shines and their big brown eyes light up when you walk through the door, grab onto them steadfastly and close; your mom who moves heaven and earth just to be with you for a second, she might just be the one you should white knuckle; what about your hero that believes in you and pushes you to be all that God has for you to be, maybe hold him tight too.
God is a God of relationship and He longs for you and all your time, wrap your arms around His waist and fall recklessly into His tender embrace! Let Him hang onto you!
All this time I have been longing to stop time, to halt it in the real and the raw, but the truth is the real and the raw lies deep within your relationship with Jesus and the relationships that He has blessed your life with. Time allows our roots the unwavering ability to grow and grow deep in Him and through Him we find true fellowship and unconditional love and grace from those He gives us.
Unconditional is hard to find in this day and age, but it does it exist. It may be rarer than a unicorn but when you find those who forgive your humanness and hold you tight in their unconditional grace, because their hearts long and look so much like Jesus, those are the ones you should grab onto and hold with all your might! Those relationships that shine Jesus in every direction, the ones whose hearts beat with His rhythm, those individuals who always point you back to Him and show you His deep compassion just simply by the way they look in your eyes, those relationships are the things you should be hanging onto, not time.
There is a season for everything under the sun and God uses time to be the sunshine to grow and nurture those relationships that push you towards Him and becoming more and more holy so that one day your heart will look like His. So hang on tight and allow time to be the vessel that deepens your heart into Him and allow His love to pour through your relationships.
This week take time to love others, grab onto them in those moments with the love of Christ and go out and enjoy the ride He has for you! Let time grow you deeper into Him! Hold tight…. it’s one incredible timeless road.