‘What’s the time?’ This is a question we all frequently ask … to ourselves … sometimes out loud! In our frenetically paced lifestyles where so much demands our attention and input, time is a crucial factor. For many years I worked in a high profile government department having to contend with the charting of my daily output in a precise way. Targets, productivity and performance quotas all needed accounting for in terms of exact minutes. This was ‘micro-managing’ at its peak and its worse!
But where is God in this scenario of time that constantly confronts us? What is His perspective? One problem, as we may view it, is that God is everlasting and outside of ‘time.’ Does that mean that He is ignorant or oblivious to this pressing and continual factor of life that we face? The answer – in the negative to both those questions – comes from what may seem to be a surprising source – John’s Gospel. This looks at the ministry of Jesus in a way that’s distinct from the other Gospel writers. In doing so he points to answers about ourselves, ‘time,’ and God’s intervention in our lives.
In particular, John records seven miracles (or “signs”) that Jesus performed. They each portray the power and deity of Jesus, and profile a time element that impacted people around Him that also ‘connects’ with ourselves. Jesus was alert regarding the right time to respond to situations. He showed that with Him it was never too late and that there was never a moment when He could not display God’s power.
Of course we now have phrases to ‘package’ our view about ‘time.’ It helps us try and bring it under control. In the sporting world the announcement that there are ‘Two minutes added on’ to the allotted 90 minutes of play in a football match is commonplace. Such information may be unimportant if your team is losing heavily. But with a draw or one-goal difference in the scoreline those additional seconds can bring possibilities – the hope of a win or the disappointment of defeat.
…and a perspective
By making use of that sporting phrase the title of my book underlines the changes that God is able to bring when we’re faced with the stark fact that ‘time’ can never be ‘packaged.’ As we explore those “signs” of Jesus we see One who can bring us release from the domination of time. Our relationship with God means that its uncontrolled influence is actually something into which He can clearly intervene. As a result we can experience hope being generated within us. God has ‘time’ in His hands, a perspective you will find highlighted as you read “Two minutes added on.”
By Stephen Bishop
Author of “Two Minutes Added On”
Available on Eden