Written by Fr. Dale Minor - Reclaim Ministry - Rutland, OH
Has August seemed to go on forever for you? Maybe it’s because we have just had two 31-day months back-to-back. Or that this month has had five Sundays, five Mondays, and five Tuesdays. This will not have happened in any other month this year. The next time we will experience such an event is May of 2022. But, does it really matter?
Calendars are just a means of keeping track of days and seasons. They help us maintain some order to our life-patterns and to prepare for the natural change in seasons. But such calendars are relatively new in the course of human history. The earliest calendar discovered is a bronze age “Sumerian” calendar dating from about 2000 BC. The first 12month calendar based on cosmic observations was developed in 330BC. The modern calendar can be traced to the Roman Empire with the Julian Calendar of 45 BC which was later refined into the current universally accepted calendar, the Gregorian Calendar developed in 1582AD. Some may argue that certain archeological sites such as Stonehenge in England are a type of calendar but there is
no real consensus to the purpose of this structure.
What is undeniable is the fact that God himself established a pattern for time and seasons. “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years.” (Gen. 1-14) This raises a question about their purpose; “signs and seasons for whom?” I have maintained that all of creation was to provide a home for God’s ultimate purpose, -- man; the creature He made in His image to be an intimate companion for himself. If this be true, the order which we have discovered exists in the heavens provides the basis for our sense of time, and controls the seasons required to maintain the variety of life on earth.
God is timeless. He doesn’t need time for himself. But He established time for man. Consider these verses of scripture: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord... (Acts 17:26-27a) Or, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” (Ps. 37:23) Also, Ps.74:16-17; “The day is Yours, the night also is Yours; You have prepared the light and the sun. You have set all the borders of the earth; You have made summer and winter.”
These and more provide ample evidence that God created time for man, and specifically that man should use this time to establish himself in relationship with
the Lord. The Lord’s stated purpose is for us to imitate Him; to be His companion, not just occasionally, but perpetually. He established time, not so we could allocate it according to our wills, but that we dedicate all our time to his honor and glory. He gave us time, not so that we give him an hour or two once per week, but that we dwell with Him and He with us, -- meaning we remain in constant communion with Him.
There is a little praise song called Holy Ground by Christopher Beatty. It simply says “This is holy ground; we’re standing on holy ground. For the Lord is present and where He is, is holy.” The verse is repeated and singers are invited to add other verses one of which is most always, “This is holy time, He’s given us holy time.
God works in this time and so this time is holy.
Time is precious, it is a gift of God. Receive it and use it to love God and love others; that is; keep it holy!