Each day in December I have been posting my thoughts on what this season means for me, accompanied by a song you may or may not have ever heard.
I do the same thing in my new book Twelve Days. They are my thoughts about the lyrics of that Christmas song and also feature songs that I thought about while writing each chapter.
The book is about 12 days starting on Christmas Day. Days and time. The song was written before 1900. It was a different time and yet the song hit a tipping point and became timeless.
Time. It’s a funny thing. We never seem to be able to catch it and never can buy more of it. I actually wrote 90% of a book about that topic and it’s my hope and goal next year to get some more of my self development books done and out. They are different than my first book but I hope you’ll enjoy them!
WHAT TIME IS IT?
Today I was thinking of the gift of time and what God gives and wants from us.
Before God created the universe, there was no such thing as time – and yet the moment the world was formed, so was time.
We see time as something linear – a beginning and an end. God sees time circular – where there always was, and always will be – with no start and finish.
Time and space coexist (see Einstein’s Theory of Relativity). For us, time is something we cannot buy more of, save, or make stand still…but we do have a choice in how we use our time.
In my reflections today – I was thinking of a time that was very impactful to me this same day 13 years ago. I had just endured a terrible loss from our FEMA flood, was dealing with shady civic leaders and very fine print laborious paperwork, moving from a hotel to an apartment, still throwing out everything we owned as it sat soaking in an unlivable home surrounded by sewage water. That was a tough time. Was it an unlucky day 13 years ago? I don’t know. It was a horrible time and yet years later a lot of good and a lot of growth came from it.
That was just one time.
Yet, if you look through your social media memories you’ll see other things that you experienced on this day. I reunited with a friend from the past, two years I was with O and V at Disney Springs, one year I was making homemade bone broth as I was dealing with a torn meniscus, another time I had one elf with a sprained ankle and the other elf with a sore throat. The way I use time today will be different.
Some of these memories won’t be stored front of mind. But some definitely will. The same is true about your time and your memories.
All these experiences had a profound impact on me that day 12-18 – and I carry all in my heart still.
Imagine how big your brain would have to be to remember and recall every single memory of every single moment in life.
Regardless if the memory is accessible in the mind - All these experiences changed me as a person, shifted my journey, perspective, and thoughts about who I am, my purpose in life, and how to trust God even more than I did before.
All of the memories I have of this day that I could recall - all involved other people. Some I have known since before they were born, some I had just met, and others who I was reunited with after time apart.
The energy that is exchanged between people and the relationships elevate me, raise frequency and vibrations, and has helped me to discern more about life, love, and pursuit of purpose.
A good friend once told me that people come into your life for reasons and seasons. Some are there for a short time and some longer.
Why is it that sometimes when we meet someone we feel as though we have a strong connection to them, or have known them before? I have some of these and don’t take this for granted.
Do you have memories of times that had a lasting impact on you? Good, or bad? I’ve been trying lately to recall with desperation memories with a friend who I’ve been praying for each day. Some of the memories of our times of past are easy to recall - others seem to have faded and harder to recollect.
All of these experiences have me in deep thought lately.
Have you ever experienced something that you didn’t expect to happen – but it changed your life?
Have you ever met someone and instantly you knew that you were supposed to know that person, be deeply connected to them, or that you felt as though you knew them before?
Have you ever thought about where you were before you existed? If your soul existed before your human shell did?
Have you ever thought about all the time you have wasted, spent, or invested over the years that has brought you to where you are today?
Do you think about tomorrow, or just expect that it will be waiting for you?
Do you appreciate time? Or just let it pass.
Time. Space. Relationships. Love. Journeys.
Oh to know and be known by God.
A LONG TIME AGO
Mary and Joseph were from a very small town. Surely everyone knew them. They went to another very small town. It is suspected that Bethlehem only had 200 citizens at that time. It is estimated they stayed there a few years before journeying on to Nazareth. Certainly, they had made friends.
Did those people know they were holding, rocking, and changing the diapers of God Almighty?
Jesus grew up – he was a human kid.
Did He have young friends? When people met Him, did they all feel that special connection before He began His short ministry?
Did they have a sense that they “knew Him before”?
When He preached in the temple as a pre-teen and didn’t follow His parents home, did He make friends there?
We know from the Bible that many people followed Him and wanted to spend time with Him. He had fellowship with many people, not just the 12 disciples. He had a strong connection to people like His friend Lazarus as well as Martha, Mary, Susanna, Joanna, and Mary Magdalene. He was despised by many, but also loved by many. People put Him up for the night, fed Him, and loved Him - they invested time with each other.
NEVER LONG ENOUGH YET EVERLASTING
He wasn’t alive more than 33 years, and yet His life and legacy remain timeless. His impact and love for us remains boundless, limitless. We may not remember Him from before, but He knew us before we were born.
Jesus chose 12 best friends. Perhaps they represented the 12 tribes of Israel. (I mention that in the last chapter of Twelve Days)
Why does this matter?
There was a time before this earthly life and one after. One that will last forever. Can you imagine that God knew us before we were born of this Earth?
God knew Jesus before that silent night in Bethlehem.
Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in Our image.”
John 1:2, “He existed in the beginning with God.”
(also John 8:58, John 17:5, Revelation 13:8, John 10:30)
God knew us before we came to the Earth and does not forget us no matter how much time passes.
Isaiah 49:15, “I’d never forget you. Never. I’ve written your name on the back of my hands. The walls you are rebuilding are never out of my sight. Your builders are faster than your wreckers.
God wants us to remember Him and that He has a plan for each of us.
Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.”
Galatians 1:5, “God had special plans for me even before I was born. He chose me through His grace.”
I wonder if Jesus ever had Déjà vu.
When did He know He was from heaven? When did He remember where He came from and why He was here?
Revelation 22:13, “I am the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end
Colossians 1:16, “"For by him [Jesus] all things were created: Things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
Nobody wants to spend time with us as much as God does
James 4:8, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.”
We are from Him
John 15: 1-5, “I am the true vine, and my Father the vinedresser. You are the branches. Abide in Me, and I in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself – for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Jesus put down His life for mine
John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
1 John 3:16, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
One day we will see Him again.
Ecclesiastes 12:7, “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”
2 Corinthians 4:17, “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
Lord, rhank You for Your word. Heavenly Father - please continue to help me discern the gift of time and be thankful for all that You give and want from me. Thank you for relationships, and for the beauty of this season to remind us of the most important One.
My featured Christmas song is by Paul McCartney.
May you simply be having a wonderful Christmas time…