If you’re a fan, young or old, of the british sci-fi ‘Doctor Who’, a picture would probably form in your mind as you read the words “Time Lord” – an extraterrestrial race of humanoids that have learnt how to manipulate some of the laws of time in order to use it to their advantage. The year 2020 has unfolded before our eyes and into our lives, and you would agree that a lot of people (whether they are fans of the Doctor or not) would like to get their hands on a Tardis (the Time-machine used by the doctor) for various reasons. You probably share that desire to some extent.
For all the knowledge and mystery surrounding time, it has one special, defining quality to it. Time cannot be stopped. Fiction and reality agree that the present affects the future. If we could change that truth, maybe we would. I sometimes wonder if my inability to have a regular sleep pattern in the past couple of years is due to an obsession with time and trying to control outcomes in my future. It’s very strange at this point to think there is no wall, table-top or bedside clock in the bedroom I share with my wife. Whenever she asks me what the time is, I intuitively tell her a time and when she checks a phone or wristwatch close at hand, it’s either spot on or about five minutes or less off.
Maybe I’m some sort of time-junkie. Maybe all of us are to varying degrees. We are bound to time. Or worse. We are bound by time. It’s almost like a combined effort of nature; technology; social and cultural evolution; and our own innate sense of mortality brings us into a race with time. A race, so far, I don’t think anyone outside fiction has the ability to win. I try to do more and be “more”. And since time is a constant constraint, I try to achieve this “doing” and “being” in a way that is better or quicker. Yet, it takes time to develop or acquire the qualities called “better” and “quicker”. Life is no video game; there is no secret cheat code to level-up.
As I write this, we’re a few days into the second half of the year. My desire, and (naturally) everyone else’s, is that the second half of the year turns out better than the first half. We have a lot of information coming across our screens wrapped around that desire. From church pulpits to lifestyle blogs or social media handles, we are fed with messages of encouragement, self-help tips, motivational thoughts, success principles and so on. These things are potentially good – and will serve supplementary purposes at best – but can also terribly mislead us if they do not rightly address the question of who is lord over our time.
Look, there should be no confusion here. We do not possess the ability or capacity to be true Time Lords – to rule over time and determine how it shapes our history and that of others. The default human condition is that we are bound to time or bound by time. The chains of time take various shapes and forms – desires, dreams, fears, limitations, addiction, survival, the list goes on. Can we find freedom from time’s chains by running (or hustling) harder? Will it grant us freedom or subject itself to us if we just fight hard enough? Does man not find in the end that all his work and success has only helped him substitute one chain for another? A man who “lived it all” is famously quoted;
“it’s all smoke, nothing but smoke… everything’s smoke.”
–Ecclesiastes 12:8, The Message
If we would successfully rid ourselves of our subjection to time, there is only one way to do that. We must yield ourselves, and thus our time, to the control of something or someone not bound to or by time. When we live for something beyond time and it’s chains, we are no longer bound by time. And I am not talking about a rebellion against time. Rebels have freed themselves from the rule of an authority only to bind themselves to a fight or flight for freedom which continues until that authority can no longer wield its power over them. With regard to time, the folly in this is obvious, isn’t it?
We must relinquish our struggle and surrender ourselves to the One who created time and lives outside it. He alone can take the chains from time. He alone can give meaning to our relationship with time, a meaning and significance not defined by time. God, through Jesus Christ, has given us the chance to make a switch. Yes, a switch; because humanity is incapable of being it’s own lord. The following words are from the second verse of a hymn (titled A Christian’s Daily Prayer) a friend of mine shared with me;
As day unfolds I seek your will
In all of life’s demands
And though the tempter tries me still
I yield to your command
Let every effort of my life
Display the matchless worth of Christ
Make me a living sacrifice
Be glorified today
When we switch lanes from running against time to running so that “every effort… displays the matchless worth of Christ”, we have freed ourselves from the chains of time and now use time to serve Another; Jesus Christ. And He promises to give meaning to our lives. The Bible promises this:
“He will be the sure foundation for your times…” – Isaiah 33:6
Imagine a stability and assurance for every moment, hour, day and season of your life. Imagine going forward into 2020 and the rest of your life without having to bear the pressure of time and what it might bring or of controlling the outcomes of the future. In taking your chain to Christ, time has a different response. It does not respond to you, it responds to Him. And he has full control of time, wielding it as He wishes.
And like all good contracts, there are terms and conditions to this switch. We legally and actively become slaves of Christ when we take our chains to Him. He is a good, benevolent and gracious lord; but He is first and foremost LORD. We become unconditionally obedient and totally submitted to Him. This is the offer on the table. There is no other. Yet, there is absolutely none better.
When Jesus first called Peter and Andrew to follow Him, He said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”. Yet, three and a half years or so later, He left Peter with a new set of life defining words,
“Simon… Feed my Lambs… Take care of my sheep… Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” – John 21:15-19
“Follow Me” is the command those who give their chains to Christ will always receive. It would play out differently for all of us. He does as He pleases with our times and seasons but our attitude must be the same; unbroken loyalty to our Lord. Jesus is the true Time Lord, He is Lord of all for all time and beyond time. Like Tolulope Moody would say, “freedom is in choosing the right chains”.
If this total surrender to Jesus is the attitude you already have, you’re in good shape. You can trust that time will turn out beautifully for you. If you think you’re holding back, would you hand over your chains completely to Christ and let Him be Lord over your time? This might mean a deeper level of surrender than you’ve ever known. Take a moment and pray to God telling Him of your desire to totally surrender to Him whatever you might have held back.
If you have not made Jesus your Lord and Saviour, then this means you need to accept His sacrifice, the price He paid to have legal ownership over you, and become His. Then you will come under His lordship and become free to be bound to Him. If you want to make this decision, click here and we’ll contact you.
Let’s live out 2020 and the rest of our lives in freedom by being bound to Christ, the Time Lord.
©King of Fools, 2020