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February 2008


Here is a dilemma: You don't have large enough blocks of time to focus on your big projects. Everything is chopped up with what we have called cracks in time available. The cracks seem to small to allow accomplishments. On the other hand, you work so hard that when you get the big blocks, you are weary and wasteful with that time. Your body doesn't want to do what is necessary for you to dig in.

What will you do?

Well, there is down time and then, there is down time.

True down time is a good thing, is to be celebrated, and is to be sanctified. It is Sabbath and we all need it.

Remember it and keep it holy. That means separate and unique and uncluttered with worry and self-flagellation over how you ought to be using it to catch up. You ARE using it to catch up. Your body is replenishing its resources and your total being is renewing itself for future full engagement.

The other sort of down time is all in your head. It is not down time at all and needs to be redefined - I do that by spelling things out.

D = Decide that you can use the time fruitfully and be ready to do so. If I seem redundant it is because I still don't have this attitude perfected in me. I need to decide and re-decide and maybe you do too. Prepare for the times when all you have is ten or fifteen minutes. So many of the jobs I procrastinate for months take less time than that.

O  =  Obligate yourself to use every moment that is not genuine rest and reflection to some productive end. Rest and reflection are also productive, so don't count them out if that is what is called for in the moment. Make a commitment to live every second of your life with purpose.

W = Walk in Wonder. It may well be that the next thought you need to think will arise from something you see or hear if you will stop to look and listen. Don't pass up the opportunities for "aha" moments because you are in such a hurry to get to the next thing.

N = Negotiate and renegotiate with time. It is not your adversary but you can enrage it and yourself by not honoring it with some attention and respect. Time can be arranged and rearranged, but it will always be a factor.

The Grand Courtship

(Jeremiah 31:3 KJV) The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

Everlasting love. It is as much of a quality as it is an expression of duration. In fact, what makes God’s love endure is that it is durable, patient, passionate, and aggressive. That is the character of His love. God actively pursues the object of His love in the way described by Francis Thompson in his immortal poem, “The Hound of Heaven.”

God appears to us of old with this romantic word of wooing, He has been loving us all along. It is new only by its freshness. “Yes, I have loved you …” He affirms with conviction and passion, “and my love never ends.”

Not only does He love us, but He courts us. With loving kindness He reaches out to us and draws us to Himself. Loving kindness is an inadequate English translation of a Hebrew word, which is best translated, “covenant love.” It means that God’s own character, word, and integrity are at stake and that He loves us simply because He has chosen and committed to do so. He will not back down. He is relentless in loving us. It is about who He is that He loves so deeply.

God is a jealous lover—not in the immature sense of one who is insecure, but with the confidence of one who knows that He is the only one for us and that all other suitors are bent on our destruction. The jealousy of God is selfless and generous. He will settle for no less than the best for us.


Could we with ink the ocean fill

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God so fair

Would drain the ocean dry,

Nor could the part contain the whole

Though stretched from sky to sky.

- F.H. Lehman

© 1917, 1945, Nazarene Publishing House