Wrong Place, Wrong Time? . . . Right Place, Right Time?Blog / Produced by The High Calling
"When the fullness of time had come, God . . . "
"When the time was just right, God . . . "
We worry whether we are in the wrong place at the wrong time, the right place at the wrong time, or the right place at the right time. "Timing is everything!" "Location, location, location!" Two axioms, two ingredients for success—for a comedian or real estate broker—in business, ministry, sports, or entertainment. We want the right place at the right time. God also is interested in time and place.
Time: quantity or quality, duration or destiny? The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. Chronos means chronology, quantity, and duration. Kairos is the quality, meaning, or significance of a moment. While time's measurement matters—and often relates directly to success—its meaning matters more. Parents hear "quality time with children beats quantity time." Quality time holds love and adventure, learning, discovery, compassion, and accomplishment.
In the qualitative sense, then, we can know the right place and time. Kairos time—filled with meaning from God's purpose—is always the right time. Paul challenges God's people to make the most of the present (Eph. 5:15-16). We skillfully plan our futures to be right, good, appropriate, and consistent with God's purposes. We also live in the moment, one day at a time (Matt 6:34), being whom God calls us to be, doing what God calls us to do. This gives meaning and purpose to all our time. This moves each moment of every day out of the mundane. And the special moments, those transcendent times, also are the right times—in the fullness of time. "When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son." (Gal. 4:4) Right Time!
Place: Besides a geographical location, place can mean station in life. To be in the right place is to follow our calling. As a child of God, my calling—my place—is in relationship with Christ, living my life's purpose in every area, including (but not limited to) my occupation, my daily work. All work consistent with God's purpose is God's work. God uniquely leads, gifts, and equips me with passions and skills for particular work, including service to my family and community.
First, foremost, and fully, my place is with Christ, in active, participatory relationship with God. Secondly, my place is to do God's business in and through every endeavor. That place is holy ground no matter where on earth it is. Zechariah, the Bethlehem shepherds, and Moses were found in the right places at the right times going about their everyday routines. In their respective settings, God gave each an extraordinary encounter with Himself. For each of us, less dramatically, amid our ordinary, everyday routines, God comes to us, meets us, and works in and through us. Right Place!
Doing what God wants us to do with our lives occupationally, avocationally, or in whatever occupies us (including rest and renewal), always puts us in the right place at the right time. Now, always, forever. Here, there, wherever!
Questions for discussion:
• What is God's purpose for your daily work?
• Describe an extraordinary, God-arranged, event from your ordinary, everyday circumstances.
• How has God surprised you in and through your work?
• If I really believe that the ordinary things I do each day are in God's plan, what difference would it make in my work, home life, and community?