Time is a concept all of us have to deal with in our lives. We have daylight savings time. We waste time. We never have enough time. Time flies. And time waits for no one. As I grow older, time seems to go by faster than when I was young. So I look back and it has been a year since I became the Temporary Minister of Arbor Grove Congregational Church. It certainly doesn’t seem like it has been that long. Now I am looking for all the daylight time I saved last year. I could certainly use some of it now.
My first year as a church pastor makes me think of a few of the lines form the 1970’s Jim Croce song Time in a Bottle: If I could save time in a bottle…, If I could make days last forever…; But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do…
Time has been an element of being a pastor that seems so precious and so fleeting. I have had some wonderful experiences as the pastor and many of them firsts for me such as First Advent Season, Christmas Eve service, Lenten season, Maundy Thursday and Easter services. I have always enjoyed these services, but it has taken on a new dimension being in the pulpit rather than in the pew. I am grateful for the support and encouragement I receive from our church leadership and this congregation. I also attended my first Minister’s Convocation in April, a wonderful time shared with ministers from Michigan and other states. It was a great time of fellowship, relaxation, and learning.
I find I am sitting more than I ever did before and I’m getting less exercise. I am sitting at my computer working on sermons, calendars, Newsletter articles, and correspondence. I am sitting at visits with members of the congregation. So, beginning the first of this year, I added walking for an hour to my morning activities. I would like to walk five days per week, but often it is two or three days. It is easy to say I don’t have enough time, or I don’t have time to do this or that. I can’t save time in a bottle to use later but I certainly can make and take time to do those things I should and need to do for peace of mind, health, and happiness. Certainly as a minister I must make time for others. But I also need to make time for myself and my family. We can always find the time for those things in our life that are important. For me it is my family, my God, and my congregation.
Scripture tells us: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Enjoy the time God gives you while you are able. We can’t save it for later.
Rev. Jerry W. Turner