Living in this place and in this time takes courage.
It’s easy to long for a future or pine for a past. At it’s worst, we get trapped in the jaws of coulda, woulda, shoulda. If only (fill in the blank). It’s a subtle form of victimhood, a kind of self-deception where we think that at the right time and the right place, things would have been different. We would have been great and successful and liked by all. If only it were the right time and right place.
Except that there is no right time and right place.
I mean, there is. Anybody who’s ever told a good joke knows the importance of timing. It’s the wisdom of Ecclesiates, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (3:1). The Scriptures speak of God’s kairos, God’s perfect timing (2 Cor. 6:2).
But in an absolute sense, there is no right time and place. “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24). Any time can be the right time, any place can be the right place–because God has made them. This is the day–be glad and live in this place and moment!I think this is part of what Jesus meant when he said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own” (Matt. 6:34). There’s enough trouble for today. There’s enough goodness for today too.
You see, there’s a giftedness to all our times and places. When we get stuck in our dream of right times and right places, we miss out on what’s going on in front of us. We miss out on God’s generous gifts of here and now.
The long and the short of it is that we can’t wait around for some perfect moment when all the stars align. The stars are fickle brats. We have to live the way that matters to us and do the things the matter to us and be the kind of person who matters–here and now.
This is the right time and the right place.