1. Ticking Crocodile

Ticking Crocodile

Part 1 of the Spotlight series "Time is Passing" 
The title of this Spotlight is based on the crocodile that swallowed a clock and hunts Peter Pan's enemy, Captain Hook. In J.M. Barrie's original masterpiece (the book that introduced the world to Peter Pan, the author said this: “I suppose it's like the ticking crocodile, isn't it? Time is chasing after all of us.”

Of all the adaptations of Peter Pan, do you have a favorite?

Once you've broken the ice, see what this Spotlight is focused on by clicking the "focus" below.
Let’s talk about feeling pursued by time.
Listen to this audio clip when you’re ready to begin today’s Spotlight.
(And welcome, by the way! It’s great that you’re here!)
Hopefully that makes enough sense to get you started.

Pray this prayer to get into it:
Sin has messed up the ways we relate 
to everything you created, including time.
Help us as we try to see time for what it is,
and prevent our imaginations from using it to frighten us.
Welcome Perspective: Try to control time, and you'll just end up afraid that it will bite you.
In Worship, God holds you and gives you rest - and as you crawl into the arms of God, you'll notice that he holds time, too. Not because he loves it, but because he loves you and wants to provide you with things that are helpful. Make no mistake, though - to God, you are much more valuable than time.
You'll need 2 volunteers: one to read the words in bold, one to read the rest. Begin by reading these words of Jesus from Matthew 6:33-34. 

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness...

God's kingdom is the family into which he invites all people. God's righteousness is a free gift he gives through Jesus. Each of these are sufficient. When you're in God's kingdom, it will always be your place. When you have been given his righteousness, nobody can take it from you. 

All these things will be given to you as well...

God makes a promise: the things you might worry about (things like house and clothes and job and health) are secondary to (and taken care of by) the "first things." It's an order of operations meant to provide an answer to the worrying voice. Are you worrying about tomorrow? Seek first his kingdom… Are you concerned about what you will do next? Seek first his righteousness…the rest will follow. 

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…

You’re not invited to worry about tomorrow. Gently, kindly, but clearly, Jesus recommends that you be made free of the burden of future worry. This is not permission to be foolish, but it is also not permission to anchor your hope in future moments. Your hope is here, now, in the present, where you seek first what sought you first. 

For tomorrow will worry about itself...

Be reminded that the future has a way of unfolding according to its own rhythm, and no amount of anxiety will affect it. That being said, excessive worry about tomorrow can rob you of peace today. 

Each day has enough trouble of its own…

God is not unaware of your current struggles. He is focused on them, and he encourages you to be focused on them, too. This isn’t a way of dismissing planning or foresight - it is an invitation to not let the worries of tomorrow overshadow the grace available to you today. God’s grace and strength are tailor-made for now, not for then. 
Worship Perspective: Time has always been, and still is, where it belongs: In the hands of God.
Time is a lot to think about; it’s OK for it to be a little odd to talk through it. Use the presentation below to examine the ways our interactions with time can get off-track and to consider some of the encouragements God has given about how we are to find ourselves in time.
Learn Perspective: Time was made by (and submits to) God - so depend on him instead of time.
In this Time is Passing series, the Serve portions of the Spotlights will focus on ministry to people in prison. Time is complicated for prisoners, since they’re very limited in the things they can do - it’s called “serving time” for a reason.

Serving is about finding purpose. As we look at Prison Ministry, you’ll notice that people found purpose in helping inmates find purpose as well. It’s doubly good.

This video was made for the 25th anniversary of WELS prison ministry, one of the largest prison ministries in the US. 
Serve Perspective: Those from whom time is taken have a unique chance to adjust their perspective on what time is truly for.
Pray for One Another

As we close, let us each take a moment to personally pray. Reflect on our discussion today, and in your own words, bring your thoughts and feelings about time, worry, and trust to God. Ask for His help to seek his kingdom first and to find peace in his promises for today and tomorrow.

Take a few moments now to quietly pray and share your heart with God.
Each part of this series will close with a brief reflection on Jesus’ epic promise, given as he ascended into heaven. For today, just reflect for a moment on how very “time-oriented” this promise is: 
Farewell Perspective: A focus on time separates us from a focus on what matters. 
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