Stay Present – An Intern’s Reflection

By CBM National intern, Mark Martens –


86,400 seconds. 1,440 minutes. 24 hours. Each of these measurements shows how much time is in a day and we all know that time is very important to each and every one of us.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says,

“There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven: a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing; a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.”

When I first read over this passage, I thought of it in its basic terms. There is a time for me to do ministry and there is time for me to do various other things. I thought I had the basics down but God still had some things for me to learn. As the end of our first rotation came closer, I kept getting preoccupied with where I would be going next. Another time, I was home for the weekend and about halfway through, I was already sad that my time was coming to an end. I was getting caught up in what had already happened that weekend. I told one of my friends about this and she reminded me to “stay present.” As I thought about what she said, the Lord reminded me of Ecclesiastes 3.

There is a time for everything, but what happens when we get lost in the events of the past or caught up in what the future may hold? Just like when I was letting what the remainder of my internship may hold preoccupy my mind, we have to be careful or we could lose opportunities that God has placed right in front of us. Maybe it’s the opportunity to share the gospel with someone or an opportunity to show a random act of kindness. If I’m dwelling on the past or the future, I am not making the most of the time that God has given me right now. It is not a bad thing to think about the past or the future, but it can make us less effective in the present if we let it preoccupy our thoughts. So remember this: 86,400 seconds. 1,440 minutes. 24 hours. Let’s make the most of the time God has given us now.

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