Life is full of change. Duh, I know that’s obvious. It struck me, as we passed one full spin around the sun again, that life has changed so quickly for me in the last year that I still feel dizzy!

The way we measure time is interesting. I was comparing the way we, in our Western “civilized” society see time, to the way time is described in the Bible.

For example, let’s take a day. We see a day as a full 24 hours perhaps, from midnight to midnight. Or maybe “day” as from sunrise to sunset — you know, working from “sun up to sun down”. Our days usually begin in the morning and end in the evening.. with us feeling rushed and unproductive and resenting the need to sleep, and stealing from the night to get everything done.

How does God define a “day”? Genesis 1 describes the first day this way: “and there was evening, and there was morning, the first day.” Notice that: evening comes before morning in the “day”. God started His days with rest, preparation, contemplation and relaxation, before the work began. The Jewish feast days always start at sunset, and end again at sunset. I wonder how less stressed, more productive I would feel if I viewed my day as God intended?

Here’s another example: God’s week. Our week begins on a Sunday, the “Lord’s Day”, full of busy-ness, social activity and rarely any fun, at least if you were raised a strict protestant (Sundays are to worship God, not ourselves!!) like me. Then we work all week at a job or school, and Saturday is for working at all the chores that didn’t get done because we were busy with work and school all week. Certainly no time for just play, or relaxation, or leisure here.

God’s week? “6 days shall you labor, but remember to keep the Sabbath day as holy, a day unto the Lord.” But lest you think this is just a “protestant Sunday”, remember Jesus said “Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” God rested from His work on the seventh day. Not that almighty God needed to rest, but that He took time to enjoy what He had done, the fruits of His labors, so to speak. God blessed the day He rested on, by the way. It is a blessed day, more so than any other!

We take our word “sabbatical” from the word “sabbath”. A sabbatical is an extended vacation, usually spent doing something one enjoys, devoting all one’s time to this enjoyable pasttime. A person takes a sabbatical to refresh and renew, to recover strength and health. God made the Sabbath for us to enjoy, to enjoy what we’ve done, what our family and friends do, and what He has made. We are to truly rest on the Sabbath, rest and relax.. And have fun!!

There is more. God designed the sun, moon and stars to be signposts of time for us. The seasons, the months, the year — all begin with celebrations and a period of rest. God’s holy feasts began each new period, requiring a time of refreshment, reflection and renewing of plans for the coming period. Even as the moon (the new moon) rested, so we too were to rest.

In studying about the feasts, as my husband and I were talking and considering celebrating the Biblical feasts, I noticed that God’s year begins at harvest time.. Approximately the end of September. Just like the rest of God’s time periods, God’s year begins and ends with a 10 day celebration. The Jews traditionally hold that this is the birthday of the world, the anniversary of creation. It is also the anniversary of the giving of the Law on Mt Sinai. For Messianic Jews, it is also the birthday of the Savior, born during Rosh Hashana. It is the beginning of everything! Seasonally, it is the beginning of the rest period of the year, when all nature goes dormant for winter. The harvest is over, usually, and the people celebrate the goodness of the Lord. They rest from the labors of the planting and harvesting.

We on the other hand, celebrate what.. The turning of the page on the calendar? The fact that now we go closer to the sun again? Maybe there’s something to seeing time God’s way..

Of course, the real way to look at time is from the perspective of eternity. How vast the reaches of space, and yet how even more immense the stretch of infinity? It is impossible to comprehend in our minds. Frankly, I’m glad God created time. All I can handle is today. And Today goes by fast enough for me!

The old saying is true: it’s called the present for a reason, because today is a gift!