You are indeed the Master of timing!
Your world turns; morning shows up
with colors and hope, turns into noon,
and as time passes the evening enters,
darkening the sky. The stars come out.
Unless there are clouds.
We humans also cycle through life.
We wake up infants who become teens,
adult life stretching out far for some,
for others too short. For everyone,
someday it comes to an end.
“So,” you have urged us, “rise in the morning
and plant your seed in the sun’s warm light.
The plants will sprout and blossom, grow tall,
and when it’s the season, there will be fruit,
the reason for all your work.”
We never know how long it will take
to get to that harvest. Rain, stormy winds,
or sometimes drought can change all plans.
Some crops die from infection or fire.
Or maybe too little was planted.
So, you say, even in the evening,
don’t just stand there. Work at whatever
you gave me to do. I may get old
but I still can reach out, plant more seed,
and pray that it will grow.
Morning and evening, midnight and noon,
you set the cycle in place with its timing.
I breathe in your air, gain strength in your light,
and keep on going about your business
until you call me home.
This year the verse that was underlined for me was this: “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (Rom. 12:11),
What? “Never?” Yes, there are interludes in life: vacations, retreats, retirement. But even then, the Word said, “Keep your spiritual fervor.” Don’t ever go off duty. Be ready to serve the Master, whenever and wherever.
Why? Elsewhere that is also made clear: “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well” (Eccl. 11:6 NIV).
“This or that” – we won’t always be sowing in exactly the same way, with the same “seed.” I think of my mother-in-law, now 99 ½ years old, unable to move about freely but fervent in prayer, and always ready to tell a story she hopes might help someone be encouraged or maybe more receptive to the Good News. She is still “sowing” in the evening of her life. I think of my son, who has become a safe place for hurting people he meets on the Internet, who can share about the One who gives him peace.
Glenn and I are officially retired from our life of mission service overseas, but in this phase our Master still has us involved “over there” in new ways and is opening up opportunities to serve in our current neighborhood. Besides that, he allowed me to break my ankle and face restricted movement, then prompted me with a louder voice than usual to use this phase for writing – telling what he has done. It is different seed to sow, but can be planted even in the evening.
We have morning, afternoon and evening. Whatever time it is for us, let us be aware of how we can be planting!
The product of this winter’s “sowing” is When He Whispers: Learning to Listen on the Journey. You can find the book on the following marketplaces:
Direct from the publisher, WestBow Press: https://www.westbowpress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/824658-when-he-whispers
Christian Book Distributors: https://www.christianbook.com/when-whispers-learning-listen-the-journey/linnea-boese/9781664224100