Friday, September 23, 2011

Filipino Christian Blog: It's About Time! Campaign Hopes to Redefine "Filipino Time"

According to this article, for years, the Pinoys' penchant for arriving late at an appointment has been described as "Filipino Time." Most Pinoys, apparently, are habitual late-comers that it has earned for them a virtually new timezone.

In a statement on Friday, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it is launching "Juan Time," a campaign that aims to promote time-consciousness among Filipinos. The agency said that the Filipino Time has become a "notorious habit" that, unknown to most, "pulls back the country in terms of lost productivity."

The campaign aims to promote the nationwide use of the Philippine Standard Time (PST), a timing system established under PAGASA decades ago but was never strictly enforced. DOST says, “Juan Time reminds Filipinos that keeping to the PST avoids the difficulties of having confusing, unsynchronized time."

Excellent effort by the DOST but a better understanding of time is first necessary for a nation-wide time management campaign to work.

To properly understand time, we need richer language than the language of management. We need biblical language that reflects the God who grants us life hour by hour, minute by minute.

Time in the global economy never slows down, never rests, and has no rhythm but the relentless beat of commerce.

That is not the biblical idea of time. God has built a rhythm into the world and into human beings. Eugene Peterson in his book "Working the Angles" points out that in the Bible a day doesn't begin with sunrise. It begins with sunset. The day begins when we go to sleep and God works. We wake up and join Him in the work of the day He began while we were sleeping. We don't begin the day, but rather we wake up and step into God's rhythm of grace, a day already in progress.

This idea that day begins when I go to sleep is a vital worldview concept. Life, success, and productivity don't, in the final analysis, depend on us. They depend on God.

And that understanding allows us to rest -- to rest in our sleep knowing that God is at work and to rest on the Sabbath. Because we believe in the providence of God, we can affirm that we have enough time, and we can then receive the day as a gift.

There are at least four applications for this biblical view of time. First, we should honor our bodies by keeping sensible schedules and getting the rest we need. We have enough time to work, rest, love our families and friends, worship, and exercise.

Second, prayer and meditation on God's Word must be built into our schedules. Keeping God and His Word at the forefront of our minds helps us develop the biblical notion of time.

Third, we can say, no. Our overscheduled lives
(and the Pinoy's habitual and terminal tardiness) are testimony that our notion of time has not been formed by a biblical worldview.

And finally, we can enjoy the freedom of the Sabbath, that foretaste of our eternal rest with God.

Time is a profound worldview issue. And this biblical perspective on time will revolutionize the way we live, play, rest, worship, and work.

So the next time you look at your watch, take a moment to remember who your God is and how He has providentially given you all the time you need.

(Adapted from BreakPoint)
Photo by AP

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