“Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.”1 Chronicles 12:32
If you understand time, timing, and seasons, then there is something else that will fall into place. Naturally, these three items can be critical when it comes to handling money, resources, relationships, and your personal and professional life.
However, we may not have an understanding between the three, and not knowing that distinction can hurt us, especially if we are just going to yell “semantics”!
Granted, semantic differences do need to legit be called out, but if there is an important distinction we are missing in calling something semantic, it can hurt us.
So, without further adieu, let’s dive in.
Time is the natural progression of existence. It is tied to the flow of events that make up the past, the present, and the future. It is measured with clocks or chronometers, and it is constantly moving. It can feel relative to our age, which is why time seems to flow faster as we age, because a proportionally smaller segment or percentage of our lives are moving into the past.
Timing is the moment in which an act occurs relative to some question of whether or not that act was supposed to happen or not. When something was supposed to happen in a given moment, we call it good timing. When something was not supposed to happen in a giving moment, we call it bad timing.
The rightness of an act with respect to time. For example, the timing for a bird migration, or the timing for a whale gestation and subsequently calving. Those things must occur in the right moment in order for the birds and the fish to grow properly.
A season is a temporary period of time. It can be regular, or irregular. Vegetables, fruit, plants, and other things must be grown or done according to WHEN they will grow best. You do not plant corn in November hoping for a March harvest, because corn was designed to largely be planted in March through June for an August through October harvest, depending on where in the world you live. And that is just the Northern Hemisphere.
If I were to make a distinction between each of the three items of time, timing, and seasons, I would say the following.
- Think of seasons as the chapters in a book.
- Think of time is both the pages in the book, and the flow of conversation and description: all of the words in the story.
- Think of timing much like you would think of a particular comment made within a given chapter, at a given moment.
- Put to sports analogy, a football game lasts 60 minutes of regulation (3-4 hours depending on timeouts, penalties, commercial breaks, etc. That is the time.
- Each quarter is a segment of interactions. That is the season. Also, the general speed of a player, which enables Antonio Brown to receive the ball and engage in any of his massive plays.
- Each particular play in a quarter relies heavily on a confluence of well-timed factors (timing). And what sets apart a good running back or receiver from a great running back or receiver is quickness as opposed to speed: movement and reaction time. Herschel Walker, Barry Sanders, and Calvin Johnson each had an uncanny ability to maneuver and sidestep all sorts of defensive measures, which gave the film of their work a sort of grace and fluidity to it, as with a dance. They each had, what we would call, an anointing for timing.
A failure to embrace seasons, means attempting to enjoy things when they were not designed to be enjoyed. Seasons also bring a regular rhythm, and a regulation that should be present in us.
A SIDEBAR FOR THE EXHORTERS IN MY TRIBE AND AUDIENCE
For those of you that read my post on the Redemptive Gift of Exhorter, I neglected a massive part of the Exhorter’s design, and I am correcting it. Look at this following passage from the Fourth Day of Creation.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,Genesis 1:14
The Exhorters who are flamboyant, like Tony Stark…
and the Exhorters who have flair, like Tony Stark…
and the Exhorters who engage with pizzazz, like Tony Stark…
and the Exhorters with all of their presentation, social butterfly, and brilliancy skills, like Tony Stark, in order to move a crowd to act…
are also the Exhorters who are designed to be the most rhythmic and regulated and predictable of the gifts when it comes to keeping seasons. There is a seasonal component of their design that functions as a timepiece for the body of Christ.
Do not pass over this massive piece (which is noticeably absent from most of the teachings on the Exhorter), because they are so butterfly, and socially maneuvering, and because all you see is their capacity to win a crowd and move people to their way of thinking, and because of their manipulations, or their new revelations. They were designed, from the outset to be normalizers for seasons.
Seasons, time, and timing: Exhorters, this is your arena. Strike while the iron is hot and provide the rest of your tribe with some massive regularity of these three things. You have the capacity to win big and lose big with your mastery of these three items.
My friend in South Africa who is a master chef, I am going to say this one for you specifically. I think this is for you specifically. Deep in the wells of your spirit is a capacity to walk in high numbers in this area. Take hold of all that God has for you, and help regulate your fellows around you by taking hold of the excellence in these three areas.
Bobby Fischer, chess grandmaster, excelled in the area of timing in his game, which was how he was able to execute well for the brief period he played professionally.
I have a friend who spoke to me in the broad scope of my calling recently, and she asked me, “what time is it?”
In other words, am I capable to discerning what is the appropriate grace to this season?
Some of you in my audience have this thing for timing (right place, right time, right moment in time). And some of you have this thing for time (making sure that time is stewarded well). And some of your have this thing for seasons, and all three of you get hammered and labeled with OCD by a culture that doesn’t value these three things, because many times, and this is a weakness for the Prophet culture, we argue, “if it is right it will be right 5 minutes or 5 years from now, and thus it is right to to now”, and some of you are designed to engage with creating the response “it might be good and right now, but in a few days, the iron will be hotter and your timing will be better. Some of you belivers are hardwired to differentiate between good time, timing, and season, and BEST time, timing, season. And those of you that can read those market reports, we would do well to listen to your counsel so that we can reap the better return on investment.
So, my exhortation to each of you is to ask “are you paying attention to these three elements?” And if so,
“what time is it?”