Friday, February 24, 2012

Running Behind Schedule

This Pastors Devotion Blog is normally written and published by Friday morning of each week.  As I write, however, it is now the middle of Friday afternoon…not the most creative time of day for me.  The way my schedule worked out today set me back a bit.  I am currently running behind schedule.

Of course, the writing of this blog is not the only thing I may time-to-time fall behind in.  Recently, on my way to my office in Queens, I found myself about to be late for an appointment because of a sudden accident just ahead of me on the Cross-Bronx Expressway.   On another day, one appointment went longer than I had expected and sent me running to my next.  In spite of the fact that, I am a fairly punctual person who normally makes room for the unexpected, there are plenty of times when the unforeseen arises and I find myself running to catch up to the clock.  (After all, I really do hate to be late.)  Even when one does their best to plan ahead, it’s so easy to end up behind schedule (and so frustrating!).

Thankfully, the people and circumstances of this life never affect God’s timing.  God is never late.  He is never behind schedule.  That’s why Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  (2 Peter 3:9 – NIV)

Yes there may be times when, from our perspective God seems really slow—even late.  There are times when we can begin to feel as if God has gotten stuck in traffic or slept through his alarm clock.  But, the Bible reminds us that He is never running behind the clock. Rather, God is always on time.  Not only that but, God always has a reason for his timing. And most often, that reason is, us.  God is always working towards our good—working to bring us his best right on time!

So if today you find yourself sitting in traffic, waiting on line, stuck in a longer-than-expected meeting, falling behind schedule, let it be a reminder to you that, although these things may set you behind and make you late, God is never behind schedule.  He is and will always be right on time!

Have a great day!

Pastor Tim Harris


Friday, February 17, 2012

Not Responding

Thankfully I’m about to switch over to a new computer.  The one on which I’m currently working has developed a terrible habit that is making me crazy.  When I try to bring up a new program or window, especially from Microsoft Office, a note will appear a the top of the screen: “Not Responding.”  At that point my choice is to either shut the program and try again or wait a bit longer and see if the program will finally respond.  Honestly, there are times when I’ve wanted to yell at the computer scream, “Who are you not to respond to me? How dare you not respond when I try to bring you up!”  But, yelling at a computer has rarely sped it up or solved its technical issues.  (In fact, I think it just makes the computer less responsive!)

I’ve found, however, that this business of non-responsiveness is not only with my computer.  For some reason it seems to have become quite pervasive.  Like the many times I’ve called a bank or insurance company only to get a phone system that wouldn’t allow me to talk to a real person—even after pressing “0” five times!  Or, the person to whom I’ve sent an email, only to be left waiting for a response for days on end.  Then there are the voicemails I’ve left, never to get a return phone call. ( I hope that’s not any of you!).  You know what I’m talking about.  We’ve all experienced a non-responsive computer, company, or person.  However it’s delivered, the message “Not Responding” can be both frustrating and discouraging.  

Thankfully, such is not the case with God.  He says, “’Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD….” (Jeremiah 29:12-14 – NIV) 

God has given us a promise. When we seek for him—when we call upon him—he will respond to us.  He will not leave us trapped in a phone system.  He will not keep us hanging or waiting. Rather, he will answer us.  He will reveal himself to us.  He will respond to us.  He will never say, “Not Responding.” 

So today, call upon the name of the Lord. Seek him with your whole heart.  And, do so knowing that he will respond!

Have a great day! 

Pastor Tim Harris

Friday, February 10, 2012

Long Distance Communication

As I was telling my sister Lois about “Skyping” with our son Jonathan who is currently studying in Costa Rica, she reminded me of the futuristic cartoon series we used to watch as kids, “The Jetsons.”  In “The Jetsons” the people of the future were able to speak to each other via television-like contraptions within their homes.  For them long distance communication was no big deal.  For us, however, that was something that would be only in the far, far future.  Guess what?  The future is here! 

I know that for some who are younger and who may not remember life before PC’s, laptops, or cell phones, “Skyping”, emailing, “Facebooking”, texting, etc. may be no big deal.  But, I still remember when a call from our home in Rockland County, NY to my grandmother who lived in Manhattan was a “long distance” call.  Yet, even I have become so used to such quick and easy long distance communication that I can’t imagine not being able to communicate with my friends in places as far away as Australia and Nicaragua at just the touch of a button.  For us today, long distance communication is something we can’t help but take for granted. 

I’m reminded, however, that there is an even better means of long distance communication that is available to us, better than any that we have created.  And, it is one that has been available to us since the beginning of time.  It is prayer. 

The Psalmist wrote, “I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” (Psalm 116:1-2 – NIV) The Psalmist understood the wonderful privilege of communicating with the Lord of heaven and earth.  He was amazed that when he prayed, God actually heard him and answered him.  He saw it as a great privilege to experience such incredible long distance communication.   

As wonderful as all of our current long distance communication may be, have you considered how incredible it is that we get to communicate with the God of the universe—the One who lives far outside the realm of our world?  Through prayer, you and I can experience a communication that takes us right into the presence of God.  He hears us and he answers us as we call upon his name.  That’s some great long distance communication!

Have a great day!

-Pastor Tim Harris