1 Everything has its own time, and there is a specific time for every activity under heaven:2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pull out what was planted,3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build up,4 a time to cry and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to hug and a time to stop hugging,6 a time to start looking and a time to stop looking, a time to keep and a time to throw away,7 a time to tear apart and a time to sew together, a time to keep quiet and a time to speak out,8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. — Ecc 3:1-8 GW
Disney’s High School Musical franchise keeps on going and going with the third installment recently released to theaters across the country. How many tweens and teens have learned and loved the song “What Time Is It” from the second musical installment. Dance DVD’s, sing-a-long CD’s, and various other marketing items flood the shelves across the nation as HSM aficionados spend money to get paraphernalia from the musical. So what time is it really? Is it a time to dance and rejoice? Is it a time to weep and mourn? Is it a time to pack up and move, or a time to dig in and wait? Is it a time to make a change or a time to stay planted? Is it a time to plan big things or just be still? Is it a time to speak out or remain quiet? What time is it really?
I love music, I enjoy everything about music, I enjoy singing, playing, writing, directing, arranging, performing and listening to music. One might say that music is a big part of my life. I do not dance but I have been known to get a little ’soulful’ when singing. I was involved in my own high school musical back in the day and enjoyed the whole experience. The spring all-school musical was the one big event many would strive to gain a part in, and to land a leading role was much envied and hard sought after. I on the other hand just enjoyed being a part, although I was able to land a major part in the production.
In my case I did not have to actually try out for the musical because I was chosen for a part. Our school chose to do Meredith Wilson’s ’ The Music Man’ there was a need for a male quartet. Our choral director chose 4 guys who he thought could handle the part of the male quartet and there we were, rehearsing our parts long before the actual auditions started for the rest of the cast and crew.
Being chosen was a special feeling and certainly took a great deal of angst out of the whole audition process. I am not really sure why the teacher chose to include me in the role of the high tenor in the quartet but it certainly was an experience I shall never forget, and one I enjoyed immensely. As a result of that experience I have been a long time listener and aficionado of Southern Gospel Quartet music. That solid 4-part harmony still stirs my soul. Thank you Edward O’Neil, my high school choral director.
In the musical experience known as ’High School Musical 2’ they sang about What Time Is It?. It was the end of the school year and they were ready to depart for summer vacation and time to sing and dance and party for the long school year had come to a close. What time is it? Summertime, it’s our vacation. What time is it? Party time, that’s right, say it loud! What time is it? The time of our lives, anticipation. What time is it? Summertime, schools out, scream and shout. How simple life was back then. Our days were scheduled, our weeks we pre-planned, we lived by other people’s rules and policies, our every need supplied, there really wasn’t much to concern us except perhaps an upcoming quiz.
Days were broken down into periods, and each period was punctuated by the ring of the school bell. And then finally senior year rolls around and it’s time for High School Musical 3: Senior Year . It is time to graduate and plan for a future career or further education. Time to choose which university to attend or whether to move to New York and pursue an acting career or attempt to be a Wall Street whiz kid. Hopes are high, dreams are fresh and vivid, the sky is the limit, futures are bright. But it means leaving behind the past as we embrace the future. What does the future hold? Will we be able to meet the challenges it holds or be crushed from the concerns of each day?
What time is it? If someone were to write a musical to depict your life now, what would it be about? Would it be a comedy of errors? Would it be a tragedy? Would it be filled with endless drama? Would the story line be filled with one sordid affair after another? Would we find a main character wrecked by substance abuse or just abuse in general? Would it be more of a romance novel?
What would the story line be about? Would it be an action adventure movie, or perhaps a moving, emotion filled, tear jerker? Would your life’s story be one of heroic conquest or by contrast, one that reflects a simple, quiet life?
No two people’s life stories are the same. Each of us have our own crosses to bear. Each of us have our own chapters to write. Some have led rather uneventful lives and others have had one dramatic experience after another. And yet, can anyone really tell us what time it is? Does anyone know exactly when school is going to be out? Does anyone know when that final bell will ring? Is anyone prepared for final exams?
What time is it? Can we tell from world events if it is soon time for Christ to return and end our time here on earth? What are we supposed to be preparing for? What tests should we be studying for? What should be our goals at this time of our lives? ’Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care? If so I can’t image why, we’ve all got time enough to die’. So goes the Chicago song written by Robert Lamm.
Your life may not be a musical but it surely is a play acted out on life’s stage. “Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Macbeth Quote (Act V, Scene V). How tragic that sounds. How dark and dreary a life led without purpose can become. If this is all there is to live for, then perhaps our musical would be more of a funeral dirge.
What time is it? It is time to be about the Father’s business. It is time to be planting and sowing in His kingdom. It is time to be preparing to meet God. It is a time of drawing near to God. As the world turns sour and darkness increases on the face of the earth, there is coming a time when to worship God, could cost us our lives.
So before the final bell rings and we are required to leave this school yard and graduate into eternity, let us use the time remaining to store up heavenly treasures and build a life worthy to be included in the final end credits. When the final chapter is written will our names be found recorded in the Lamb’s “Book of Life“. Let us learn to sing th The Songs of Zion and then we too can sing with the heavenly choir.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
But those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved from this penalty of sin called death. Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:15 (NKJV)
What time is it? It is time to call upon the name of the Lord. It is time to secure your part in the heavenly musical. It is time to take your place with the “Saints of Old” so you too can be counted among the cast of the saints of God and your name added to the heavenly roll call. The curtain is opened, the casting call has gone out into all the world. It is time to join up or be left behind. The choice is yours.
But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)