Timing

tming

Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

I don’t know if you have trouble with timing, either doing things at the right time or allowing enough time to get something done. I’m usually good about such things, although I occasionally slip, such as when I look at the clock wrong or show up on the wrong day for an appointment. But I pretty much have it under control.

This wasn’t the case when I was younger. Apparently I thought I lived in a kind of timeless existence where schedules and appointments didn’t matter. My parents and teachers tried to disabuse me of that, but the idea persisted until I was about ten. It was then that I encountered a real challenge to my sense of time. The Cub Scouts were to blame. In order to earn points for my Wolf badge, I had to undertake various projects, such as a collection of some sort. I went out to the gravel road that ran by our house and picked up pieces of gravel in various shapes. When I proudly showed my “rock collection” to my mom, she made me put the gravel back and took me to the library to take out some books on rocks. That hobby kept my interest for about a year.

We could also make and fly a kite, but I used of some strips of oak about an inch square for the frame, which I covered with comics. Of course, my kite didn’t have a prayer of getting off the ground except in a hurricane. But I learned an important lesson about aerodynamics and kite construction with my dodo of all kites: they have to be light in order to fly.

I was working on to my second silver arrow when I hit the wall with timing. I was to prepare and serve breakfast for my family, and I made up a menu of bacon, scrambled eggs, and toast. My mom made it look easy, but when I tried it, I found out it wasn’t as easy as it looked. I started everything at the same time, keenly aware that my brother and father were seated at the table, staring at me, unsure that they would be able to eat before noon. My mom hovered over the proceedings, ready to step in if I caught the cabinets on fire. I didn’t, but the eggs were ready long before the bacon was, and the toast brought up the rear. By the time I put everything on the table, the eggs were cold and hard, the bacon was covered with congealed grease, and the toast looked like a thin burned brick. Fortunately, my mom wouldn’t let me near the coffee, which was fine. My father and brother looked at what I served them and fixed some cereal for themselves. My mom and I choked down the breakfast I had made, so I got credit toward my arrow. She told me that it took a while to get the timing down and that I shouldn’t feel bad. I did, though, for about ten minutes.

I think that the story of the Big Breakfast Fiasco of 1957 has a spiritual dimension. God’s timing is always right, in spite of how it looks to us who are mired in time and limited in what we can see. Praise God who created time, who is eternal, and who always makes everything ready at exactly the right time. Amen.

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