May 31, 2021

The Right Time

Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed.
Isaiah 56:1
In a commencement speech at Oberlin College in 1965, Martin Luther King pointed out that "time is neutral—it can be used either constructively or destructively." People of ill will, he said, were making much better use of time than those who were involved in the struggle for justice, because change was coming about so slowly. Too many people were advocating for slow change, because people just weren't ready for it yet. But, he said, "the time is always right to do right." 

The scriptures seem to back Dr. King up. Life is a gift, and every moment is an opportunity to do something for our Creator. We want to make a difference, but we often put off taking action until our affairs are settled, or until we finish our education, or until we retire, or until the new year. But the moment we wait for might never come... at least not for us. "Do what is right," we read in Isaiah. "Now is the time," Paul wrote. 

None of us has the answers to all of life's questions. We may not know what's best in every situation. But I'll bet that in every situation we know of something good we can do. We can't create justice with the snap of a finger. But we can speak up when we hear a racist or misogynist or homophobic joke. We have no peace wand that will end all wars. But we can pray for our enemies... out loud, as an example to those who'd rather hate. We can't singlehandedly feed the hungry. But we can stop wasting food and we can donate to our local food bank. 

Paul asks us point blank when we're going to turn toward God, because today is the day. Now, perhaps, God is asking us when we're going to turn our hearts toward our neighbors. Isn't now the time?

See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!
 2 Corinthians 6:2
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
PRAYER
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

Sometimes you don't know where to go
and look to the heavens for a sign,
and you wait, wait for some direction, 
but nothing's comin' down the line.
Though you're not sure which road to take,
keep moving forward anyway.
—Brynleigh Kinne
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