After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat7 and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up. 8 He also released a dove to see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground.9 But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside. 10 After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again.11 This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone. 12 He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back. – Genesis 8:6-12
I was introduced to the rock band Chicago (Chicago Transit Authority) when I was in college. I was talking with someone about the band, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, and he said Chicago was much like them. They became my go-to rock band. I have several favorites: Saturday in the Park, Color my World, You’re the Inspiration, and Make me Smile to name just a few. Two of their songs might offer a good question for us today: Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? or Twenty-five or Six to Four. Admittedly there may be references in these and other lyrics that would point one to illegal drugs, illicit sex, or other godless pursuits. I haven’t delved into that very deeply.
But the question remains: Do you know what time it is? And I’m not speaking of whether it’s 25 till 4 or 26 before 4 am or pm. I’m speaking of God’s time. What time is it in the story of God as it intersects your story and times?
At at recent PLI immersion, we offered a Discover your Story experience. Looking back over the years for highs and lows, events and milestones, one begins to see themes emerging. Successes and failures will be part of everyone’s timeline. Chapters become apparent. Heroes become obvious. Lies you believed are unmasked. Your heritage begins to become evident.
Just as Noah was part of God’s story in a big way, each of us has a story, and God’s story intersects with ours in many ways. One is wise to discover how that is so. It may not be spectacular. It might seem today to be quite mundane. But history turns often on a very small hinge. And our story may intersect with God’s story in ways far beyond our wildest dreams.
Noah sent out a dove, seeking to learn if the land was habitable yet. He had to wait until the dove returned with the olive sprig before he knew it was OK to leave the ark. And even then, he waits for God to call him to leave.
Sometimes we may need to send out our dove, to determine the timing of our next move. But listening for God’s invitation will prove most blessed for us and all with whom our story intersects; no matter what time it is.
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