If you’re an old timer you might remember the small bale hay balers. They made the 50 lb bales. Some of my fondest memories are getting together with my uncles and bailing and stacking hay. Some of my not so fond memories are of my own baling and stacking hay. The small balers work wonderfully when they work. Since most mechanical things that come into contact with me break I had a lot of trouble keeping the balers working. Folks would come out to the field and tell me the baler was “out of timing” or the “timing was off”. Mysteriously the only guy within a hundred miles that knew how to “time” a baler was an “old timer” many of you might remember; Charles Hoenke of sainted memory. So timing being off was a big deal. Still is.
People try and time the markets. People time Doctor appointments because of insurance issues. There is timing in farming. When to cut hay was a timing issue. I told people for years that if they needed rain I would start cutting hay. When to plant a garden is a timing issue. Timing is important in sports. Quarterbacks who have lost their timing are in trouble. Timing is important in baseball and basketball too. Nothing looks as inept and stupid as a “hit and run” that is ill timed or a badly timed alley oop pass for a dunk.
Notice the appellation “old timer”. Taken one way it is a slam. For some it means a crotchety old man living in the past yelling at kids to stay off his lawn. For those who pay attention it is an almost mysterious compliment. Victor Davis Hanson talks about viewing what the “old timers” built in terms of awe. Stuff like the Hoover Dam and Golden Gate Bridge that were build ahead of schedule and under budget seem magical when one considers the freeways around San Francisco that crumbled in the World Series earth quake took twice as long to repair as the bridge took to build with cost overruns beyond belief. Today we seem incapable of building pedestrian bridges across secondary roads, or multistoried dwellings that last more than a few decades without incredible repairs, or falling down. We miss the “old timers” grit and determination, and this is what hurts; knowledge.
I have repented about my reaction to, and feelings about God’s timing in my life, because I realized it had to do with knowledge. He knows more about stuff than I do and his timing is never off. Kairos is the Greek word in the New Testament that is God’s time. Paul tells us that God sent Christ in the fullness of time. We read in the book of Galatians: “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5). Paul writes: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6). It didn’t seem like the right time for Mary and Joseph and Herod and for others. Paul had his plans and timing set at naught many times by God’s time. So have I, but the ancient of days, the ultimate old timer’s timing is mysterious and impeccable. Every day I thank God that my time is in his hands.