Are You Bushed?

Sleep-DeprivedBecause I don’t like the government tinkering with my sleep pattern, I’m not a fan of Daylight Savings Time. I’m hoping the government will eventually learn that you can play with a clock, but you can’t turn back time.

It takes some people months to adjust to the change, and they stumble around like a zombie, saying: “I’m bushed.”

Whether it’s an interruption in your sleep or some other issue, there are times when most of us have felt like we’re weary, worn-out, and at the end of our rope.  If this sounds like you, you may need to get Am-bushed.

To understand my terminology, think with me about the plight of the Hebrew people during the Old Testament days of the Pharaoh. The Jewish people were in bondage and in need of help, so they cried out to God in prayer. The answer to their prayers came in the form of a desert-dwelling, leather-skinned, sheep-herding, soon-to-be-deliverer by the name of Moses.

At this point in his life, Moses was disillusioned. He wasn’t living the life to which God had called him, and he was running on empty as he yearned for that elusive something that would change his life.

Then it happened, and it was anything but ordinary.  Moses saw a burning bush, heard a voice, and turned aside to wipe the sand out of his eyes.  Was he seeing a mirage or was he dizzy due to the searing heat of the desert?

It was no mirage–it was majesty.  The burning bush was a bush that didn’t burn; it was ablaze, but it wasn’t consumed.

It was a spectacular sight to Moses, and he was stunned and astounded when God’s voice resounded from the bush: I’ve seen the affliction of my people. I have heard their prayers. I know their sorrows. I’m going to deliver them.

Even more shocking to Moses was the news that he was to be the deliverer.  In need of confirmation, Moses asked, “Who shall I say sent me?” God replied, “I AM THAT I AM.”

Moses’ life changed on that day when he was Am-Bushed. He felt as though he lacked eloquence, but God assured him that he was a diamond in the rough.  He felt empty, so God filled him. His life had been meaningless, so God gave him purpose.

The life of Moses is an epic account of how God uses the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary. It’s the narrative of what God can do through you.

The Time Is Right

whatever2I hate the two times each year that we’re forced to try and manipulate time by changing our clocks.  Regardless of whether it’s forward one hour in the Spring or back one hour in the Fall, my internal clock doesn’t change; and, I’m out of sync with the rest of the world.

As I was setting my clock before I went to bed last night, I thought about a time related statement from the Apostle Paul:  “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly . . . demonstrating His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).”

As I thought of Paul’s “right time” statement, it occurred to me, that the right time is the time when God is present:

Because God intervenes at the right moment, you can know He is always present: “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you (2 Chronicles 20:17).”

God promises to help battle the bullies, calm your fears, and give you hope for tomorrow, “for the Lord is with you.”

A Timely Commodity

timeTime is an interesting commodity of life.  While it doesn’t cost you anything, it’s still priceless. It’s something that you can use to your advantage, but you’ll never be able to own it.  Time has a unique life cycle:  As soon as it is born it dies, and once you lose it, you will never find it again.

Perhaps this is why Paul spoke to Christians at both Ephesus and Colossae about the importance of “redeeming the time” or as it says in The Voice: “Make the most of every living and breathing moment…”

Here are a couple of suggestions to help you make the most of life’s precious moments:

  • Before you ever get out of bed, pledge to walk in step with God; and, pray: “Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths (Psalm 25:4).”
  • When you find yourself waiting in a line, line up your thoughts; and, pray: “Guide my steps in the ways of Your word, and do not let any sin control me (Psalm 119:133.”
  • Whenever you check the time, take a second to check-in with God. Make Psalm 55:17 a habit:  “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.”

It was Henry van Dyke who said: “Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”

I say: “Time is just right when it’s justly redeemed for God’s glory.”

Taking Care of the Small Stuff

In this blog and in other places, I have expressed my dislike for the asinine practice called Daylight Savings Time (DST).  In the Spring of each year, people throughout the USA lose one hour of sleep and their internal clock is in a state of confusion.  This toying with Mother Nature is actually detrimental to your health as well as your pocketbook.

The only benefit I see in DST is the manner in which Fire Departments and safety advocates use it.  Whenever we move our clocks forward in the Spring or back in the Fall, we are reminded to change the batteries in our smoke detectors.  This is a government program that actually makes sense.

Evidently Malaysia has no such program.  It is being reported that one reason Flight 370 has not been discovered in the past year is that the battery on the jet’s underwater locator beacon had expired.

I don’t mean that it had died and lost its charge in recent days before it took flight.  Not at all, the battery on the beacon attached to the Flight Data Recorder had expired in December of 2012.

Flight 370 was a Boeing 777 that had a price tag somewhere in the neighborhood of $261 million. Do you have any idea how much the battery cost?  Admittedly, the pilot or mechanic could not have stopped at a Walmart or Radio Shack and picked one up on the way to work, but it only cost $750.

While $750 isn’t exactly pocket change, it is a drop in the bucket compared to $261 million.  It is a small investment to make when you are trying to track a very expensive jet that is full of precious human cargo—mothers, fathers, sister, brothers, aunts, uncles, and children.

Neglecting small details can have catastrophic and costly results.  If you don’t put oil in your vehicle, the motor will seize-up and die.  If you don’t drink enough water it can lead to dehydration.

You may easily understand this fact when it’s discussed in the context of the mechanical or the physical, but the same is true for the spiritual.  If you fail to take the small steps, disaster may be lurking in the shadows.

alarm-clock-vector_GyJTaxwOOne of the secrets to the rapid growth of the early church, was they developed the habit of doing the simple things:  “They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42).”

I do a very simple task every night before I get into bed.  I plug my cell phone into the charger, so it will be powered-up for the next day.  When I get up the next morning, I make a cup of coffee and sip it in while I power-up for the day ahead, and I recharge my spiritual battery by putting Acts 2:42 to practice.

I encourage you to plug into the God’s Word and to power-up through prayer—it will keep you flying when you encounter turbulence in your life.

A Step Behind

1downwardHave you ever had one of those days where you felt like you just couldn’t get caught up? Well, if you felt like you were a step behind yesterday, you may be an hour late this morning.

If you didn’t move your clock forward an hour yesterday, you may have some problems this morning. Instead of running a little late to work or school, you’re still falling backwards and need to leap ahead one hour—ASAP!

Time is an often discussed subject in the pages of Scripture, and Paul wrote of it in Romans 13: “Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”

The Apostle continued this theme when he wrote to the churches at Philippi and Colossae. In both letters he called on Christians to “redeem the time.” The word “redeem” is the Greek “exagorazó,” and it means to buy up. Paul was challenging people to buy up every opportunity to do what’s right, because of the downward spiral towards immorality.

Regardless of what you did with your seconds of yesterday, it is what you do with your minutes of today that is important. Yesterday is gone, but each hour of today is a gift from God, and they are ripe with the potential to change the future.

This truth is the focus of a discussion in The Fellowship of the Ring: “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us (J.R.R. Tolkien).”

The question is not: “Are you having the time of your time?” The question that truly matters is this: “What are you going to do with the time of your life?”