A Good Idea at the Wrong Time
Have you ever been in the position where you’ve implemented a new idea, having done all the necessary research, feeling convinced that it’s a sound and feasible move, only to discover that, after a short while, it proves to be the worst possible decision – a monstrous failure. It’s happened to me, and here’s the kicker. After the project was abandoned, I reintroduced it much later and this time it was a roaring success.
This got me thinking about the importance of timing. I have consistently found that a great idea at the wrong time is ALWAYS a bad idea. When performing our due diligence in researching a new project, we almost always concentrate primarily on the mechanics – can this thing operate effectively? But perhaps we should also be asking – is it the right time?
Jesus’ first recorded miracle was at the wedding in Cana (John 2). When the wine runs out during the celebration, Jesus’ mother comes to ask him to intervene. I have always been intrigued by the Lord’s response.
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4 NIV)
The timing is not right. The passage is so rich with many other lessons, but it is fascinating that Jesus’ first response is in regard to timing. It is clearly an aspect that is very important to his ministry – each event should take place in it’s appointed time. Reading through the Gospels, one can identify this theme of the Vital importance of when key events should take place, as well as how keenly aware Jesus was of ensuring appropriate timing for events in his ministry.
Dan Millman, motivational author, makes an important observation that applies to us as leaders. “I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything… at least not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.” This is easier said than done, and needs to be an integral part of our daily prayer. It is so much easier to decide what activities to do than to confidently know when to perform those activities. Some will say that this sense of timing must be an intuitive ability of the good leader, but to the Christian leader it is opportunity to wait upon the Lord for his ultimate wisdom. God has provided us with a keen mind and the ability to oversee a project, but we must make it a daily habit to ask him to give us the insight as to when to advance and when to hold our ground. We will be inclined to miss this, especially when we are engrossed by the mechanics of the task presenting itself.
Finally, let’s return to Jesus at the wedding in Cana. Even though Jesus questioned the timing of his intervention, he does perform the miracle of turning water into wine and verse 11 says that it is the first of many signs that reveal his glory and that his disciples “believed unto him”. In John 12, when Jesus does ultimately say, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. (John 12:23 NIV) the sequence of events in his ministry have played themselves out perfectly in the timing of his Father. May you be granted wisdom to understand God’s timing for what he calls you to do, and may Jesus be glorified so that many will believe unto him.