Befriending Time

“Our busy schedules …  [have] diminished our capacity to marvel in the passage of time as an expression of God’s love for us.” ~Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and Women’s Work,

    TIME ‘as an expression of God’s love for us’ — it is certainly difficult to see time in a loving context. Time is an entity that we frequently battle, chafing against the time imposed constraints that pop up unbidden to hinder our progress. How do we always end up with more items ‘To-Do’ on our lists than time available ‘To-Do’ them in?

    Instead of ‘an expression of love’, isn’t TIME the enemy? A formidable foe which we daily endeavor to subdue by squeezing the maximum amount of activity into our schedules. Our To-do lists, organizers, and PDA’s are the weapons we use to slice and dice time in our valiant attempts to bend it to our will.

    TIME a scarce resource. Fleeting, ephemeral – steadily moving forward second by second, hour by hour. No container can hold it nor any barrier block it, as time continues its steady, relentless march into the future transforming each moment into history and leaving the present in the past.

    ‘Marveling’ in TIME as an expression of God’s love for us – surely, a cruel, cosmic joke, right? who really has time for ‘marveling’ these days? We’re just too darn busy…

    … … Oh wait, that’s the problem that Kathleen is pointing out to us, isn’t it?

    So then, how can we begin to live into ‘time as an expression of God’s love for us’? Especially when we generally experience time as the enemy rather than as ‘an expression of God’s love’. Could we endeavor to lay aside our busy schedules, at least for short periods of time, in order to reconnect ourselves to time as God intended – in sync with His divine rhythm being attentive to the present moment and opening ourselves to living in time as the point of intersection between our lives and the Divine?

    Time the equalizing indicator – each day exactly the same length for all. The difference comes down to the choices that we make as to how we spend each moment of each day. Our culture is pushing us, mostly unconsciously, to spend time in a certain way and pushing us to move ever faster. The question becomes how do we, first of all, cultivate an awareness of this cultural impact on our psyche/spirit and secondly, how do we work to reverse the this negative impact and achieve a healthy balance in our life with regard to time, so that instead of time being the enemy and something that we are constantly chafing against the constraints of, we are enabled to live within time, as the God created rhythm of our life, transforming time into a sacrament that impacts all aspects of our relationship to God and others. When we can learn to live sacramentally within time, we will begin to experience time as an expression of God’s love.

    Our dysfunctional relationship with time cuts deep within our spiritual cores. By intentionally focusing on restoring our right relationship to time, our physical/emotional/spiritual balance will be restored and a firm foundation will be created – a foundation on which to live in greater peace and harmony with our created selves and with the world around us, thus restoring time to sacramental status in our hearts and minds and opening us to the experience of God and God’s love for us in the present moment which is the only place it can be experienced.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore. (Ps 121:8, NRSV)

P.S. – ‘your going out and coming in’?

    Sounds like your Schedule to me!

    The Lord will keep your Schedule from this time on and forevermore.

    Amen and Amen!

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