One of the more influential people in my life is Dr. Dale Meyer, Emeritus President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. While sitting in my “Holy Time Out” waiting for my CT scan, I read what “Dr. Dale” wrote on March 2, 2020 about the coronavirus:
“The virus can scare us because we don’t have control over it. Lack of control can lead to fear, and fear can lead to anger. Some blame China; others blame our government. In the blame-game anger is present. Anger comes when something we hold dear is threatened, in this case our lives and the lives of those close to us may be threatened. When we follow the news with spiritual eyes, we see human nature as it really is, as we really are apart from grace” (The Meyer Minute, March 2, 2020). You can read his entire devotion here.
On Monday, my idea of life has indeed been threatened - this time not by COVID-19, but by a small and painful calcified stone lodged in my cecum. How did it get there? Why is it there? What is its composition? Do I have “the c-word”? Everything at that moment (and still today as I write this), I couldn’t control.
As I waited for my name to be called, I reflected on some other life aspects that I couldn’t control.
These are a few things that scrambled through my mind.
And as I sat there in the middle of a swirling world with a racing mind and broken heart, I started laughing to myself.
I was in God’s Holy Time Out. Just like a coach calls a time out to re-focus their team, a Holy Time Out is a way God huddles us together to bring focus to what He wants to do in us so that He can do something through us.
What did I do in my time out? I just sat there.
What did I see?
What did I learn in my Holy Time Out? It’s all out of my control.
I think about how the Hebrew people must have felt out of control in 586 BC. Babylon had conquered Jerusalem and taken everybody into a whole new world. And in the chaos, noise, and clutter of life, God calls a Holy Time Out. He sends Isaiah to get the attention of the Hebrew people saying, “But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
Those words are true in my time out today as they were around 586 BC. And, they’re true for you today, too.
When everything seems out of control, we’re in “time out”: God is in control. We have nothing to fear because God has redeemed us through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. God has called us by name. We are God’s.
Which means even when our life and world is spinning out of control, we continue to love and serve the people around us.
I don't share this to brag, but to share that perhaps God's Time Out was not just for me.
After all, I'm not in control.
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Tim studied sociology, psychology, and theology prior to earning his M.Div at Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. He has also is a candidate for an Ed.D (ABD) in Transformational Leadership. He is married to Beth and they have three young children. Together, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture, and pizza and movie nights.