Monday, February 4, 2013

Time's Winged Chariot

 by Alice Valdal

  Is it just me or do the weeks seem shorter?  It seems we've just tidied up the last of the Christmas decorations, and we're already preparing for Easter.  The posters are up for the pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday next week.  
      Reports for the Annual Congregational Meeting are in the office and will be circulated next week.  Committees are holding special meetings.  The Living Flame is setting its music program through to Mother's Day.
     In Bible Study we have moved from the detailed, somewhat leisurely accounts of Jesus' baptism, his miracles, his teachings and have rushed into Jerusalem and the Upper Room.  
      Yesterday I overheard a woman in the grocery store saying it was time to get into the garden.  Really?
       In my own extended family, we've had one baby born two weeks early and another born seven weeks early.  Everyone is in a rush!
      While life in the fast lane is exciting, it can be exhausting and skew our perspective.  The Bible has many cautionary notes about hurry and busyness.  Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 127:2   " It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late ..."  Ecclesiastes 4:6  "Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit."
     Even Jesus knew the value of quiet and retreat.  In Mark 6 we read that he called his disciples to go out into the desert, a place apart, where they could rest and refresh themselves.   
      So, when time seems to speed up, perhaps the old hymn "Take Time to be Holy" offers good advice.
      Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
                          W.D. Longstaff
A familiar hymn is dear to the hearts of many, offers a comfort in its sameness, but sometimes we don't listen to what we know so well. To hear a different arrangement click here.


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