On a recent trip out of town, I noticed that the alarm clock in our hotel room was not set to the correct time, so I adjusted the clock to the current time. About a day later, I noticed that the clock had gotten off again, and was about 10 minutes too fast.
Doing the math, after a year of its current rate, this clock would gain about two and a half days. But the thing about most clocks is that they tell us the hour and minute, but often don't tell us the day. So, even though this clock's timing was very off, there would be a couple times during the course of a year that it would look correct, but it would still be a day ahead, and then two days ahead.
This reminded me of our lives, and how we can be constantly pushing ourselves into wanting the next thing, or the next season. So much so, that we begin to get out of sync with when and where we're supposed to be. During these times, it will feel uncomfortable, and a lot of things around us will tell us that we're not aligned correctly, but then, in a moment or two, we see other signs that make us feel like we're proceeding correctly. These times are similar to when the clock was back in time, but in reality, it was only back in time in the hour and minute, and not the day.
To me, the hours and minutes of a clock represent the what and where of the assignment God has for us. This could look like a computer graphics position in Baltimore, or an evangelistic job in Dallas, or a host of other things that God has for each of us. However, the day of a clock represents the correct timing of that assignment. Just like it's easy to see the hour and minute on a clock, the what and where of an assignment is usually the first thing we see, and we can often assume the day is now. This is why we see people who could be doing the correct thing, in the right place, but because it's not in the correct timing, there is little fruit, and it is leading them into a season of doubt and frustration. However, the day on a clock is the harder thing to determine. And just like the timing of our lives, it must be seen through a closeness - a closeness to God's heart, and a closeness to the spirit of faith and patience working together.
It's important for us to stay in sync with the timing of the Lord for our lives. If we begin to push that timing and force ourselves through doors that are not for now, we will get out of alignment. We may think we are getting confirmation once or twice, but in reality, we will be days ahead of the correct timing. This will cause unnecessary damage and hurt, and possible further delay until we learn to reset ourselves to the correct rhythm of God's heart and timing for our lives. But thank God, regardless of where we're at, there's always an invitation to enter back into alignment with His heart, which will lead us to the next fruitful season.