Dr. John B. MacDonald
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What is time? Who is God?


As for 'time', do a google search for "what is time." You’ll get lots of ‘hits’ but no real answers. 

A definition of time may elude us, but we do know a few things about it.

As for 'God', we'll come to that a little later.


Three general observations

Here are three general observations about time and relationships.


First, if you aren't spending time with someone, you aren't building a relationship with that person. 

In the first post in this series, “How’s Your Relationship with God,” I mention that many relationships weaken and crumble because we don't spend enough time together. This could be due to distance, busyness, or different priorities. Whatever the reason, if people don’t spend time with each other they become detached physically and emotionally.

How’s your relationship with God? Is it strong and vibrant, or is it weak and distant? Is this a result of the amount of time you spend with God?


Second, spending time with someone doesn’t necessarily mean you are building a relationship that is important

Over the years I’ve noticed often that the people who make the greatest demands for my time are the people who aren’t really important in my life. For example, clients and customers make demands upon our time because they want something, not because they are enjoying or building a relationship that matters. 

Those who love you and matter most to you don’t usually press you for your time. I’m thinking of your spouse, your children, and your good friends. Sure, they want to spend time with you, but they aren’t insistent.

Spend time with the people who are important to you.


Third, we only have so much time. Once it’s past, it’s gone – it can’t be recovered. Eventually, the last grain of sand falls through the neck of our personal hourglasses.

We know that time is a diminishing resource. We only have so much of it – so we should use it wisely. As you get older you realize how little may be left to you. 

A helpful booklet (32 pages) on these points is Charles Hummel’s Tyranny of the Urgent.

How can these three observations help us use our time better for making our relationship with God stronger and more vital?


Four positive steps

Here are four positive steps for growing in your relationship with God.


1.         Decision 

Determine if a strong, vital relationship with God matters to you. Is it something you want to experience? 

For me this is a ‘no brainer’, but I’ve met people who don’t care, or say “no.” 

If you do want a more vital relationship with the One True God you’ll have to make some changes in your life, including how you use your time.

But first, voice your desire to enliven and strengthen your relationship with God. Make it a prayer, make it audible – and see what happens.


2.         Reality

In my writing and speaking I want people to get ‘real’ about God.

The word ‘god’ is a silly-putty word that people frequently use for something they've constructed that suits them. These do-it-yourself ideas about 'god' are usually vague projections of the people who design them. 

Eugene Peterson puts it well. He writes that the name ‘Jesus’ gathers all the diffused vagueness about God “into a tight, clear, light-filled focus.” 

If you want to know the God of reality, focus on Jesus. The One True God, continues to reveal himself as Jesus Christ.


3.         Intention

In the last number of posts we have walked through an acronym that provides a framework for growing in our relationship with God: A. L. E. R. T.

You may want to review these posts and be intentional about how you develop your participation in this rich relationship: A for attending; L for listening; E for expecting; R for responding; and T for time – taking time with God. Here's the link to the first post in this series: How’s Your Relationship with God.


4.         Patience

As with other relationships, be patient. Rich, vibrant relationships grow over time.

Consider keeping a journal: writing what you are learning and experiencing; recording your dialogues with God. Review your entries from time-to-time and let your heart and mind delight in your experience of God’s companionship through the heights and the depths of daily life.


If you want your relationship with God to grow and strengthen, spend time with Him.

I’ll end this series here – at least for now. What more can you add? 



Photo Credit: ipsbmtc via Compfight cc

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