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by William Baldwin
1/01/2010 / Church Life
Gen 4:26 "...At that time, men began calling on the name of the Lord."
Outside my office hangs a clock on the wall that's been slow for weeks, maybe months now, but who's counting? Before yesterday, the last time I noticed, it was about ten minutes slow. For a while (weeks or months) its sluggishness didn't bother me. Yesterday, I recognized that it had now lost three hours. Suddenly, like a lightning bolt, "bother" struck me. I walked back to my office, poked around in my desk, found two AA batteries, and fixed it.
It took three minutes. Three, sixty second segments to recover three hours!
It's 12 months, 365 days, 8,760 hours later than this time last year.
Welcome to 2010.
What did you do with your time in 2009?
It's funny, the things we say about time. We declare that time can be lost, wasted, spent, and of all things, fly. Some of us talk about killing time. But I think it's really as Dion Boucicault says, "time quietly passes and kills us."
The first chapters in the book of Genesis are mysterious. Historians find it difficult to pinpoint time in the first chapters of the Bible. We can't date or figure out exactly when or how much time passed in the events from creation and throughout Adam and Eve's family lineage. Adam, himself, lived 930 years. Adam's youngest son lived 912 years, and farther down the line, Noah had his sons after he was 500 years old. A young, strapping dad, he was!
The history of beginnings reveals a troubled lot. But it was times of trouble that changed people and turned them back to their Creator. Adam and Eve's great fall, then their son, Cain, murdering his brother, Able, marked turning points in history. Trouble initiated something they, obviously, had not done in years. After so much trouble, they began to seek the Lord.
After all the mess-ups and foul-ups, the writer takes notice, "At that time," the time of one failure after another, the time of trouble, "men began calling on the name of the Lord."
We step into this year, wiping sweat from our brow, barely escaping a death blow to the world economy. With job losses, some people suffered a fatal blow to their personal finances, losing houses, cars, and credit ratings. Others suffered more personal and tragic loses last year. Deaths, divorces, broken relationships and shattered dreams abounded.
What happens now isyou get a mulligan, a do-over. Here's the question: What will we do with our do-over? Hopefully, we'll learn from our ancestors, and after all our trouble, we, too, will "begin to call on the name of the Lord."
It's noteworthy that after men began to seek the Lord, He called Noah to build an ark of salvation for his family to escape the coming rain storm. Prayer didn't stop the storm, but created a way through it for those who would listen to Noah's warnings. Sadly, not all listened, most didn't in fact. Only Noah's family was saved.
It's 2010 already! Don't you think it's time? With everything we've been through and all the battles we fought last year, isn't it time we begin to seek the Lord?
A new set of AA's will not recover the time we've lost, but the Lord is offering grace for us to start over today. This is a New Year, a new day. If you will begin to seek the Lord you will discover, over time, that God will make a way where there was no way. Prayer doesn't always stop the coming storms, but it does make a way through them.
In the history of humankind, the days we live in are like none of the others before us. Indeed, this is a different day. This is not a time to attempt to journey into the future without a relationship with the only One who knows what lies ahead.
It's 2010and it's time.
It's time to begin calling on the name of the Lord.
Bill Baldwin is an author, speaker, and pastor. He resides with his wife, Karen, daughter, Karly, and two dogs, Rosie and Gracie, near Charlotte, North Carolina. Visit www.billbaldwin.org
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