In chemistry a catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change. Figuratively, it is a person or thing that precipitates an event: (E.G. the governor’s speech acted as a catalyst for debate.) To catalyze means to cause or accelerate (a reaction) by acting as a catalyst, or to cause an action or process to begin.
At Sunday’s Black Lives Matter celebration at New Life Covenant, we discussed the times and seasons of God. (Ecc. 3) Certainly the recent slayings of Eric Garner, Tamar Rice, and Michael Brown were the not the first or only incidents that have resulted in the death of an African-American male. Yet these incidents catalyzed a national and worldwide multi-ethnic, multi-class movement of protests, die-ins, media, and hopefully legislation to curb police brutality. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus in the Jim Crow South, she was not the first young woman to do so. Her treatment on that particular day sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, which eventually led to the Civil Rights Movement. We are a better Country and people as a result of her bravery as a change-agent.
There are several ways the Bible refers to time, but here are two:
Daniel worshiped and praised the God of wisdom and might who changes the times and seasons. He removes kings and establishes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to men of understanding. (Daniel 2:20-21 paraphrase) 1 Chronicles 12:32 describes the sons of the tribe of Issachar who understood the times and seasons and therefore knew what Israel should do…at the opportune time. Oh, for us to have the wisdom to see, understand and act when Kairos moments present themselves. Christ followers expect and anticipate seasons changing, favorable opportunities, and Divine intervention in difficult situations. Hallelujah!
With God, things can change in a moment. We get stuck in chronos -thinking about how long it’s been, but we’re in league with the greatest catalyst the world has ever known. He inserts Himself into situations and people and they transform! Just like the chemical catalyst – HE changes things…but HE NEVER CHANGES. (Heb. 13:8)