It’s harvest time all over Zimbabwe and here at River of Life – Westgate that is exactly what you will find. Workers harvesting the crops that they have carefully tended to and nurtured this 2012 growing season; carefully tracking yields, and reaping what has been 6 months in the making. Months of work to accumulate, gather, and grow; coming down to a few days – a few weeks of collecting and harvesting each and every crop. Within those few short weeks you will reap all of your 6 months of hard work; sweat, blisters, calluses etc.
There is something about it all that makes you appreciate time: time and preparedness. Wasted time during that 6-month period (specifically at the beginning) could easily affect the whole of your harvest. Time however, is a unique thing. We are all in some ways prisoners of time – both in the culture of the first world, and in the culture of the third world. Each one of us, no matter the wealth in our pocket, or the tasks that we find ourselves facing have 24 hours in each day, 7 days in each week, and so on and so forth. Unlike other materials, and resources time cannot be saved up and accumulated and for this reason, it is imperative that we live each day to our utmost, and in some senses steward the Lord’s gift of time in the best way that we can.
How is God asking us to spend our time each and every day? Are there places where we are not seeking God’s will for the use of our time? Are we wasting the precious moments that he blesses us with to seek after our own pursuits or worse still just letting these moments pass us by as we idle around and drift through life?
Read about what the bible says about time in Ecclesiastes 3:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, 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 ESV)
The Bible says that there is a season for everything, and a time for each thing and matter that the Lord has created. We can take solace in the knowledge that, no matter what season of our lives we find ourselves in, God has ordained a plan and a purpose for that season. That means that in both times of trial and times of plenty, and even in those times that we believe we are simply completing “useless” tasks in what we believe to be the “mundane-ness” of everyday life, we can take solace in knowing that God has a plan and purpose for everything. It also means that we need to fully embrace and live each moment to our full potential. That means in times of trial, we persevere and live each moment asking the Lord what we must learn, what he is trying to reveal about himself and his heart towards us, constantly seeking his face. It also means that in times of plenty we ask the Lord what his purpose for us in this season is, how can we make the most of each resource that he has blessed us with and how we can bless others with the things that he has blessed us with. Further, it means that when we get lost in the comings and goings of everyday life, that we actively remind ourselves to seek his face, to seek his plans and purposes for our lives – and we may find that we find renewed joy and drive to live each day to its fullest even if we feel like we haven’t done anything of merit.
This is why time is so important, and why it is such a cornerstone to the Foundations for Farming method, and the Trumpet Call!-Agriculture movement. Each moment that a farmer takes to prepare his field in advance will be a moment of great victory. Each farmer that plants on time, just after the first rains, will have won a piece of the kingdom victory. Each individual who cherishes each moment of their day, seeking the will of God and his purpose for their day will be winning the battle. For the enemy tells us that each moment doesn’t matter, planting late will not make a difference, weeding and preparing your field on time (or even at all), will not matter for the final outcome of your harvest, you have no time for a quiet space or prayer time with Jesus, distractions, distractions, distractions. Each moment you live without purpose and vision is a victory for the enemy. As individuals, families, communities, churches, cultures and countries, we need to reclaim our time in order to more effectively serve the purposes of our Lord. We will not give the enemy the victory; time will not become a stronghold that keeps us from living out the plans of the Lord each week, each day, and each moment in our lives.
This week it is our prayer that each of you would remember the precious nature of time, that you would value every moment that the Lord blesses you with. That you would seek the face of your Father in heaven in each moment you find yourself wondering: “What’s the point?” or “Why am I even doing this?”. Most importantly, it is our prayer that the Lord would fill each of you with his love and his light, that no matter where you are, of what you find yourselves putting your hands to, that you would be a shining light for him in the darkness of the world around us.