16th September 2019

Time and Place

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV UK)

But it’s amazing how things change. Recently I went to a social at a congregation where I had once attended. I scarce recognised those who had been very young or infants in my day. Now they were hulking youths towering over me. A strikingly beautiful young lady who as a toddler I remember for being inseparable from her dolly, was full of her new career and its prospects. A proud father told me that his young daughter, as I remember her, is now married and about to give birth.

Solomon writes about a time for everything, a season for every activity. His list in Ecclesiastes 3 is limited to human activity. But even here not everything happens to every individual. Some good things in life pass us by, as do we escape some bad things. There is no guarantee that we get to experience everything life has to offer, or escape the opposite.

None of us is promised everything possible in human life. A man is to pray for a wife, because wives are not promised. And the same is true of children, or any other opportunity in life. I was reminded of a story told by a missionary from the last century. Somehow he received a consignment of violins. So he set out to teach the young native children to play the instrument. One of them was outstanding and went on to have a successful career. Had those instruments gone elsewhere, this young man or woman would never have discovered the love and natural talent they had for the instrument. How many Einsteins has the world lost due to poverty, lack of teachers, intervening wars and famines?

There are many things we may want. My uncle’s head want was a Rolls Royce. But it came too late, with only a year or two before old age halted his driving. And I think we Christians, must realise that we have other priorities. Our calling should make all the difference to the direction and pressures in our lives.

Some of our ‘might-like to-haves’ may be granted, but not to consume on ourselves. I hope to share my new car with others, but I get to enjoy it as well. And more than that, I hope, it will permit me to continue still in service to God over the next few years. With our calling we are not the same as other men or women. Our priorities are different, or should be. The vision we have into that other life promised us does affect how we behave now, what achievements really matter. We have to take time to contemplate eternity, and our role in eternal life. And that’s how we gain satisfaction in this life, as well as in the life to come.

Eternal Father, our mortal lives limit the vision you give us of eternity and eternal life. Please help widen that vision through Bible Study and our close walk daily with you, because that strengthens our faith and our resolve to make it with your help. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford

About the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School, Room A1 (Main Building)
Honey End Lane
RG30 4EL

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone: 01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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