Text: Vesa Kumpula
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
We were leaving on a trip. It was already late on Sunday evening, and our son, who usually just drops in briefly, kept sitting in our home. Finally, I had to go out to take our bags into the car. Unexpectedly, the boy came out with me and began to share his thoughts. He felt attracted to a girl, but was not certain about his own feelings, nor the girl’s feelings. I encouraged him to contact the girl and to ask her if she would like to learn to know him better.
That Sunday evening we drove a few hundred kilometers to the home of our daughter’s family. In the early morning hours my son called and told me he had talked to the girl. She had asked him to give her two weeks to consider this question. Some time later we were invited to attend this young couple’s wedding.
One Saturday evening I was listening to services. The speaker talked about the king who had ordered all his advisers to be killed. The reason was that they were not able to say what kind of a dream the king had had. A completely impossible task! Daniel and his three friends were among the advisers. When Daniel heard about the king’s order, he asked to be allowed to see him. First of all, he said to the king that if he gave them some time, he would be able to describe and explain the king’s dream. The king allowed him some time. Daniel told his friends this, and they prayed that God would help them. That also happened.
I believe there are many situations in our lives where we need time to find a good solution. When we experience something new, we need time to get used to it. We also need friends with whom we can share our thoughts and discuss matters.
I once discussed work life with a friend who is a doctor. In his work he meets patients whom he can only give bad news. I asked him how he feels about those situations. His response was surprising: he said he thinks that God is giving those patients time to settle their matters. Maybe they can use well the time they are given. God may give unbelieving patients time for searching and a possibility to receive the grace of repentance.
When God calls a person into His kingdom, they should not ask for time to consider the question. The Bible contains many references to this. The Letter to the Hebrews encourages us not to harden our hearts when we hear God’s call (Heb. 3:15). In Chapter 12 of Ecclesiastes, we read words that make us pause: ”Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them’”.
Do you have time? This question is always topical. We could ask that more often than we usually do. It would be a way to show to our neighbors that they are important and that we would be willing to share our joys and sorrows with them. I once talked to a person on the phone. Being my normal busy self, I was about to end the call when that person said something to stop me:
– Don’t you ever have time? After that, I had all the time in the world, and we discussed the matters that this person had on his heart right then.
Don’t you ever have time? I guess none of us would like to hear that question. We would rather like to hear someone say, ”It was nice you stopped to talk to me and gave me your time.”
Reilut kymmenen vuotta sitten julkisiin rakennuksiin alkoi ilmestyä kansioita, joissa luki ”pelastussuunnitelma”. Monien kirkkojen sakasteissa tämä antoi aiheen huumorille ja erilaisille toteamuksille: ”Viimeinkin pelastussuunnitelma on tiiviissä paketissa niin pappien kuin seurakuntalaisten saatavilla”. Joku puolestaan pohti: ”Eikö Raamattu enää riitäkään pelastussuunnitelmaksi, kun apua pitää kysyä viranomaisilta?” Rakennusten turvallisuuteen liittyvä ohjeistus muistutti siitä, että kirkko on Jumalan pelastussuunnitelman eli sielujen pelastamisen asialla.
Välähdyksiä rovasti Pentti Kopperoisen elämän varrelta sekä ajankuvaa suomalaisten elämästä 1930-luvulta nykypäiviin.
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