Summary: This message is about TIME and how to bend time to your advantage, the three concepts of time in Scripture, and the six opportunities where we can jump great distances ahead in the race to eternity.
A WRINKLE IN TIME
1. I’m talking about “wrinkles” tonight, so here are a few wrinkle jokes. A little girl got on her grandpa's lap and said, "Did God make me?" "Yes," the grandpa replied. "Did God make you too?" "Yes," the grandpa said. "Well," the little girl said, looking at his wrinkles and thinning hair. "He sure is doing a better job nowadays!"
2. Son: "Dad...what's Mom putting on her face?" Dad: "That's Wrinkle Cream son." Son: "Mom, that cream is really working...you've got loads of wrinkles!"
3. A middle-aged man and woman were getting ready to go out for the evening. The man was standing, shirtless, in front of the bedroom mirror.
“Honey, I can’t believe I’m turning 50. Look at how old I’ve gotten! My belly is sticking out, I have wrinkles and liver spots all over, and I’m losing my hair. I feel so bad about myself”
He turns to his wife and said: “Did you hear me? I’m feeling down and I need you to tell me something good about me!”
The wife looked up from her book, adjusted her glasses, and said: “Well, at least you still have 20/20 vision!”
B. THE IMPORTANCE OF TIME & OPPORTUNITY
1. In technologically advanced nations, people usually regard their TIME more precious than their money, because they have more money than time. Any device or practice that can “save time” (microwave) is a good thing.
2. And things that shorten the distance to our goals -- thus saving time -- are highly sought after. A person can be poor and from a third world country, but if they can gain a valuable skill or an advanced education, they can catapult ahead of others to attain wealth and favored citizenship.
C. THESIS & TITLE
1. Tonight we’re going to be talking about TIME and how to bend time to your advantage. The concept of a “wrinkle in time” is one of theoretical physics, that time and space can be folded by means of a fifth dimension, so that travelers can go faster than the speed of light across immense distances of the universe, instantaneously.
2. We’ll see that this concept parallels the teaching of Scripture, which informs us that God gives us “wrinkles in time” in which to advance faster.
3. So we’re going to look at opportunity, the three concepts of time in Scripture, and the six opportunities where we can jump great distances ahead in the race to eternity.
4. The title of this message is “A Wrinkle In Time.”
I. THE UNUSUAL CHARACTER OF A TIME OF OPPORTUNITY
A. HOW OPPORTUNITY CREATED SUCCESS
1. Outliers: The Story of Success is a book by Malcolm Gladwell (11-18-08) that became #1 on NYT bestseller’s list for 11 weeks.
2. Gladwell’s thesis is that it’s usually NOT people’s intelligence or unusual ability that causes them to succeed, but opportunities made available to them at just the right moment that they took advantage of.
3. Examples are:
a. how most Canadian professional ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year [thus, they have a year longer to mature & grow and are given more training & opportunities];
b. how The Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in human history [played long stints in German clubs so that they got more than 10,000 hours practice as a group. For almost all musicians, the 10,000 hours threshold propels them to a higher level of skill];
c. how the first wave of industry growth in the U.S. (factories - Ford) gave rise to the industry titans; railroads – to the railroad barons; the rise of financial markets produced the banking giants; the first development of large department stores (Walmart) produced the mercantile billionaires; the first wave of computer development gave rise to Bill Gates & Steve Jobs, and the Internet caused the success of the pioneers of Google, Amazon, etc.
4. A main key to the success of many of these people were the specific opportunities that became available for them at just the right moment.
5. This is really a biblical concept. As we study, we find that God gives seasons (periods of time) where opportunities are made available to us. The key is for us to recognize which season it is, what opportunities are being made available, and to seize on those opportunities. Col. 4:5 says, “make the most of every opportunity.” (Eph. 5:16).
B. WHAT IS AN “OPPORTUNITY?”
1. Opportunity – “a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.”
2. God arranges the opportunities and sets up the season of access to those opportunities. It’s up to us to grasp the opportunities and thrust ourselves into God’s will before the window of opportunity closes.