What Time Is It?

My education formally stopped with my college bachelor’s degree. However, since becoming a parent I feel as if I should be receiving continuing eduction credits. I’m earning a PhD in L.I.F.E. The syllabus is all over the place. Subjects and tests vary from day to day… ok, minute to minute. But there’s something about being a Mom that’s haphazardly educational. Sometimes all I have to do is listen to the things that come out of my own mouth as I’m teaching my children. I accidentally make statements that resonate in my brain and teach me more about life. If only I could get extra credit somewhere!

I’ve known that being a parent is helpful in teaching. You see I grew up as a pastor’s kid. My parents had two sermon illustrations…. er, I mean kids… and I grew accustomed to hearing about how my brother and my comments or actions would turn into a teachable moment from the platform. Now I’ve got three little life exhibits of my own. They teach me so much.

Just this week my youngest child has been posing a question to me. And if you’re a parent, or if you’ve ever spent significant time with a two-year-old, you know that toddlers are champions at posing questions. They have question posing stamina that can outlast any willing subject.

My little girl has been repeatedly asking me, “What time is it?”

Now, mind you, she just turned two and she has absolutely no concept of how a clock functions or what the time even means. I could answer her with the literal time, military time, or say it’s two bananas past a cantaloupe and she’d be none the wiser. So the fact that she keeps asking me what time it is has become sort of funny… and a tad bit annoying.

I started by answering her straight. She kept asking. I changed over to sarcasm asking her if she had something on her calendar or an appointment she didn’t want to miss. She kept asking. Finally, I became inpatient and uttered, “If I told you it wouldn’t make sense to you anyway!”

And there it is.

There’s one of those educational statements that I accidentally pulled from my maternal arsenal. “If I told you it wouldn’t make sense to you anyway!”

Hmmm… I think I’ve heard that one before. I’ve heard it from my earthly father and I’ve understood it from my Heavenly Father. In my life, when things happen that I don’t understand, I become a champion question poser. With persistence and frustration I call out to God saying, “Why?” “Who?” “When?” “What?!”

And I know a statement sometimes needs to come into play. A reminder from my Heavenly Father that, “If I told you it wouldn’t make sense to you anyway!”

Job certainly learned this lesson. If you read about him in the book of Job in the Old Testament you see a man whose life gets tragically turned upside down. He loses his children, livestock and health. He spends chapters angry with God and he poses the question of “Why.” Later in chapter 38, God responds by posing some questions of His own.

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

“Who is this that obscures my plans
    with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels shouted for joy?

“Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?

And it goes on and on… Basically God is telling Job, “If I told you it wouldn’t make sense to you anyway!”

I know that my little girl doesn’t really need to know what time it is because I’ve got it taken care of. I know where she needs to be and what she needs to do. I’m the keeper of the clock in our relationship and she just has to go with the flow. Wow, again, what a correlation to my relationship with my Heavenly Father. He’s the “keeper of clock” if there ever was one! He’s got it taken care of. He knows what I need to do and when and all I have to do is go with it… and trust Him.

Thankfully God is not inpatient or easily worn down by our questions. He’s stable. He not only knows the answer but He’s Truth itself. He’s got it covered. As He tells Job, it’s waaaay bigger than my feeble little mind could understand. I just have to go about my childlike faith and trust Him. I’ve got the easy end of the deal.

So, the next time my toddler asks me what time it is I’m going to take the time to thank God for being in control. He continues to teach me more about life and about Himself through the children He’s given me. And I know that in this continuing education I’m getting I’m going to get some answers wrong and I won’t get all perfect scores. But I’m going to stay in the program and be open to what He’s teaching and where He’s leading.

Who knows, I might just graduate Summa Cum Laude.

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