In HOPE

  In HOPE 5.33                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

Do you long to make a difference in the world? Here's a resource to consider: James Emery White's Serious Times: Making Your Life Matter in an Urgent Day, IVP, 2004. This powerful little book draws on the lives and lessons of William Wilberforce, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Saint Patrick, Saint Benedict, C.S. Lewis, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther.           

HOPE Happenings

Next week is final exams week here at Hope International University, and the winter graduation ceremony is planned for December 17th. We celebrate the diligence and discipline of so many students who have studied hard and earned their degrees.

 

 

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

 

"Leisure is a quality of spirit, not a quantity of time."  (Eugene Peterson)


Hurry Up, Please

I live in a hurry. People don't walk quickly enough for me. Goals take too long to reach. Programs feel bogged down by minutia. Email replies are too slow. Meaningful relationships take forever to develop. And so it goes.

If I could just release the brakes, the world would function so much more efficiently and effectively. We could achieve so much more. The 'slowness' around me breeds deep frustrations, especially my own slowness to learn, grow, change, or achieve.

Hurry up, please!   

My impatience, however, reflects how unaware I am of God's work in the world. His timetable rarely matches mine. We seem to be on different wavelengths so much of the time.

When the Apostle Paul encountered Christ on the road to Damascus and received his commission to take the gospel to the Gentiles, I imagine he was ready to roll. His history was filled with zeal and action. Paul was not one to diddle. If there's a job to do, get on with it.

But God countermands our "Hurry up!" with His own "Listen up!" We usually overestimate what can be done in the short-term and underestimate what might be accomplished in the long-term. And His long-term is the longest perspective of all.

As Saul/Paul listened to God, he disappeared from view after his Damascus conversion, spending three years in Arabia and then perhaps eleven more years preaching unobtrusively in Syria and Antioch (Gal 1.15-2.1). Fourteen years of relative obscurity before the Holy Spirit said "Set Saul apart for the work to which I have called him" (Acts 13.2). The Lord's timetable is just that ... His timetable, not ours.

If I had been sent to save the world, I surely would have "landed" ready to go. Arrive and conquer quickly. Every minute counts! Waste no time! But the Christmas season challenges my haste. It reminds me that Jesus arrived as a baby, to grow, to learn, and to share life before becoming Savior. 

Many of us may feel more affinity with "Hurry Christmas" than "Merry Christmas". But perhaps, tucked in this story of the babe of Bethlehem is the invitation to discover the Lord's timing rather than our own - in all of life.

Our cultural inclination to rush might well be replaced by the spiritual exercise of hush. Despite our self-importance and sense of urgency, He sets the pace and determines the results that matter most. This Christmas, let's pause, take a breath and change the mantra. "Listen Up, Please". 

In HOPE -

David

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/