Guest blogger: Timing

Timing is important. Actually, it is often critical in life. In the medical field, timing can determine life or death. On the stock market, timing can lead to thousands in earnings or losses. In church and Christian ministries, however, the importance of timing is often ignored or undervalued, but not with God.

By timing I mean the opportune or right moment to act or do something. There can be bad timing for anything that’s good, such as having a baby at 8 weeks in pregnancy. In Galatians 4:4-7, the Bible shares that “when the FULLNESS of TIME had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law to redeem…” I always wondered why God took so many generations, from Adam and Eve, to arrive on earth to redeem humanity. The term “fullness” has an underlying agricultural connotation, meaning that something is ripe and ready to be picked, plucked or harvested. It means a fruit or grain is mature and therefore ready – good to eat. There is a reason why we eat yellow bananas and not the green ones.

In leadership and management, people often put a lot of emphasis (sometimes too much) on things such as passion, vision, goals and strategy. A passionate leader is usually at the top of the list when searching for a personality type. Many people often think that if there is a charismatic personality leading a ministry or organisation, everything will be great or greatly improved. It goes without say that success cannot be reached or sustained without an organisation having a definable vision, measurable goals and a clear strategy to reach the goals. These things are great and they are needed, but they will all fail if timing is off. This is why farmers do not plant in winter, no matter if they have seeds, fertiliser, water and machinery. Freezing temperature is not good timing for planting. Farmers wait for the opportune season, and so must we at different times in life.

God knows when to ripen a situation and make it ready for harvesting. He knows when to prepare the hearts of people to receive from its leader. He knows when to give monetary favour though a donor. This is why we cannot afford to miss the right time, because a good strategy implemented at an inopportune or bad time will undoubtedly lead to failure or possibly that something will be undeveloped. A charismatic personality leading at the wrong time can be devastating for an organisation. It is important to know when to do something. Netflix embraced timing with the digital revolution of live streaming and became a multibillion dollar company. Blockbuster ignored embracing live streaming and had to shut down its business operation as people stopped buying DVDs at stores. 

Do you know the opportune time to have a meeting? Do you know the opportune time to launch a product? Timing can be a season or period, or it can be momentary. Either way, God gives us opportune moments and seasons where the right ingredients for success are in place and ready for the picking. Do not ignore or underestimate the power of doing things at the right time or you might miss resources, favour, protection and access.  

Kiplin Batchelor