Time Out

My wife and I have spent many hours and miles going to athletic events for our two children. Our son played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track. Our daughter played volleyball, basketball, softball, and ran track. At one of our daughter’s basketball games, in the last few minutes of the game the score was back and forth with the opposing team one point ahead, and the next trip down the court our daughter’s team one point ahead. With just a few seconds left on the clock, the opposing team had the one point advantage. Immediately after that point was made, our daughter’s coach called, “Time out!” Kim (our daughter) was an excellent three point shooter, and the coach instructed the team that as soon as the ball was brought in bounds, they were to get the ball to Kim. Sure enough they did and she shot that last shot with the ball going “swoosh” through the net as the buzzer sounded, winning the game.

Probably one of the most important moments during the game was the “time out” for the team to learn what the coach wanted them to do.

When I was unruly as a child, often my mother would say to me, “You go and sit in that chair until I tell you to get up!” One day I heard our daughter-in-law say to one of our grand children, “You are going to ‘time out’ if you don’t behave.” That meant she would have to go to her room, stand in the corner, or sit in a chair and not get up until mom gave the OK. Then it dawned on me, “That’s what that was when my mother would tell me to go and sit in that chair until she gave me permission to get up," though I never heard it called time out.

As I look back, I now understand that those “time outs” are very profitable. Our daughter’s team learned how important it was to listen to their coach. If I learned anything during those time out periods for myself, it was obedience, which was a character building time.

In Psalm 46:10, it reads, “Be still and know that I Am God.”

That sounds like a “time out” to me. It is a time during a busy schedule of each day that we make time to spend with God. As we spend time with Him, we learn how to practice the principles and truths He teaches us from His Word, and become the kind of person He desires us to be.

In your daily time with Him, focus more on personal character and holiness than on temporal needs. It is tragic when our personal prayer life consist mainly of health, finances, and other material needs. Jesus said, “Seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33) God’s greatest priority is “. . . to conform you to the image of Christ . . .” (Romans 8:29)

The Lord desires to fill your thoughts and attitudes with His presence which produces through you the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Gal. 5:22) The fruit of the Spirit is a manifestation of the very character and holiness of God Himself. God’s character and holiness through you enables you to be: humble, discerning, wise, genuine, pure, and have proper motives.

The story is told of an old man fishing along the river bank. A little boy came and sat down beside him. The little boy began to ask questions, “Have you caught any fish?” “How many?” “How big are they?” “How deep is the water?” “What’s that for in your box?” On and on the little fellow asked questions. Then the little boy asked this question, “Mr. can anybody see God?” The old man smiled and replied, “Sonny. I have come to the point in my life that I can see nothing else.” How do you think the old man came to that point in his life? By taking “time out” to spend with God.

Our son, Jeremy, is a psychologist and has written a book titled Mind Click. In the chapter “We Had it Backwards the Whole Time,” he writes, “When this physical life ends, you won’t take with you the money or possessions you acquired. You will no longer have a physical body to nourish or care for. However, the kind of person that you became will go with you (as the real you) to your next plane of existence (either positive or negative). The real achievement in life is the you that you become.”

Reflections:

  • It is essential that you begin to give God a significant time on a daily basis.
  • Consider your daily devotional time as a fellowship with God rather than a required ritual.
  • Make an absolute commitment to consistently spend time alone with God.