Well, it’s WAY past Easter…and way past time for me to write again.
We have managed a lovely gradual fall into cooler weather, with the days holding their warm centre a lot later into the year than normal, but the cool, dark-edged grey palette is here now and the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness has massaged us officially into winter.
I’m having an unusual year thus far. It’s so far outside what I anticipated that I fairly regularly have to stop and recalibrate. It almost feels like I’m sailing in waters I haven’t any experience of and I have to take a new sounding every few days to keep track of things.
I think ‘those who know these things’ call it being present in the moment. There’s nothing spectacular happening. I’m ‘unemployed’ for now and have been since Christmas Day. Most of my days are fragmented into a random series of short interludes spent with one of my daughters, conversations, God time, family taxi duties, graphic design, study, appointments, church stuff, reading, internet surfing and domestic life. In some ways, it’s frustrating to be without a strong pull in one direction but I do feel that this is a season for resting, watching and waiting. I am deeply rested, and it was most definitely needed.
Talking with many friends, work colleagues and Jesus family, it seems most of us continue to live at a pace which is barely manageable, a pace that robs us of meaningful connections or shifts the weight of our commitments too far into a work space and away from what we value most. There is a sense of disturbance, sometimes vague, sometimes very sharp, that perhaps there is robbery afoot. Time and love robbery. A stealthy but determined draining away of our ability to spend ourselves on what we truly care about.
It is the unexpected return of redeemed space around me that blesses me most at the moment. I am not unaware of the treasure I find myself with right now. There are several stretching silent expanses in my week now and I get to choose if I fill them or not. Interspersed with fragmented bursts of activity, the silences are rich with thought, Word and communion. I feel as if time, previously eaten up by work appointments, phone calls and the insistent beep of my electronic smart-stalker, has quietly been re-credited to my account…
I know I squander it sometimes and no doubt I will look back at some point and get the ’shoulda’s’ (shoulda done this and shoulda done that), but there is some delight in even being able to squander! So I try for balance while letting the days form in front of me. I’m very conscious that this is a gift that may end quite soon and that I may well find myself running again. I’m conscious also that some who read this may be gasping for air and sinking under their schedules.
I hesitate to even write of this to some of you because I am only too aware that it may seem impossible to slow down or even snatch some time to rest. I feel for you and hope you too might have such an opportunity down the road.
I hope and intend that this season leave a deposit of wisdom, vision and peace in my soul that I will not surrender to any thief and may share with anyone The Lord sees fit to walk with me.
I encourage you too, to take hold of that which you love and what time you can find, and hold on with all the tenacity you can muster. These two, love and time, are our richest treasures, tender and easily taken yet so central to the sacred gift of life that God has shared with us all. I pray you will see clearly and choose wisely, that you will be watchful, grateful, and have time to live in the presence of love.