We ring in the New Year with a keen awareness that time is passing swiftly: Father Time, labeled “2023,” is replaced by the Baby of the New Year, labeled “2024.” We feel an urgency to make some “Resolutions” that will help us to use the next twelve months more efficiently than we did the last twelve. 

However, our timetable is almost always off. We either overemphasize quick, impulsive action (“The early bird gets the worm”) or slower, more carefully-planned strategy (“The second mouse gets the cheese”). Either of these can lead to failure, the former because of impatience, leading to premature action; the latter because of procrastination, resulting in missed opportunities and inertia. Our timing is usually off. 

But God is right on time! 

There are many reminders of this scattered through the Bible: 

I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand. (Psalm 31:14-15) 

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:15-16) 

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1) 

The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:25-26) 

Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.” (Esther 4:13-14) 

While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:8) 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. (1 Peter 5:6) 

Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be destroyed with fire, and the earth and  everything that is done on it will be disclosed. (2 Peter 3:8-10) 

In this last passage, Peter goes on to say something surprising:

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what  sort of persons ought you to be? Leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God. (2 Peter 3:11-12) 

What? Did Peter say we should be both “waiting for” and “hastening” the coming day of final judgement? Yup, we should be like the early bird (“hastening”) and the second mouse (“waiting for”) at the same time. Relaxed, and on our tip-toes!