UK Christian Bookshops Directory: Christian Book Reviews: Time
Time Time
God's gift in a busy world

Jill Fuller
ISBN 9780281057504 (0281057508)
SPCK, 2006

Category: Christian Life & Discipleship

If I ever meet Jill Fuller, I will give her a big hug and thank her for writing this book. She has managed to be short but not shallow, thought provoking without being provocative and sensitive without being sentimental.

In Time: God's Gift in a busy world, Jill Fuller takes six aspects of time and how it affects our lives. She offers reflections on our attitudes and situation, adding short biographies as illustrations and drawing on the wisdom of Biblical stories. The six chapters cover the following: valuing time as a gift, not a commodity; living in the past and how time can be redeemed by Christ; living in the natural, God-given rhythm of life; making the most of situations where time stands still (either through tragedy or great joy); being aware of the political and social age we live in and how that affects our spirituality and attitudes; and finally how our awareness of God's Kingdom coming in our time affects our day-to-day choices. Fuller is never trite in her response to any of these topics, and is obviously someone with a great deal of pastoral experience and pearls that she is willing to share with us.

The first part of each chapter closes with a prayer written by Fuller. This is one of my favourite features of the book. My other favourite thing about the book is the fact that it was written after being lived out, not vice-versa: it is based on a series of six sessions for quiet days/group study. Each chapter is divided into two parts, the first with the reflections, biographies and prayer, and the second with ideas for more reflection, discussion, meditation and practical action. It can be adapted for self-study or a group setting (which Fuller deals with in much detail in an appendix). Not wacky, but distinctly creative, she gives suggestions on how to put each chapter into practice and learn from it. My impression is that Fuller is far from lofty and over-spiritualised, yet she brings a certain 'otherness' to the experience of everyday living because she deals with us holistically, and this is really shown in the way the two parts of each chapter fit together.

I honestly cannot fault this book. It is easy to read without being shallow or simplistic, and has really challenged the way I see time and my daily life held within time. I would recommend anyone to read this book, whether you feel like you are always chasing time or not. To use an analogy of the author, a small investment of time reading this book will reap great returns. If you are bored or even frustrated about being told how to manage, yoke, or tame time, then this is the book for you. Instead of seeing time as a beast that must be brought under our control, Fuller helps us to see how we can move more to the beat of God's drum, rather than the hum-drum of the world we live in today.

Caroline Wenger, February 2007

Having tried the Alpine life for more than a year, Caroline Wenger is soon to be coming down the mountain to live in a town not far from Zürich. She enjoys reading (albeit slowly), cooking and travelling and finds it sometimes hard to stay awake in sleepy Switzerland.


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