Sunday 25 September 2016

Take Time

Sunday - time to think, time to slow down, time to connect.

But what have you spent your Sunday doing so far? If you're anything like me, it's been pretty like most other days - waking up early and a wild dash to get ready, and do things that haven't been done during the week.

The worthwhile things in life don't always cost money. They usually take a major investment of patience, perseverance and persistence. Think about it - the growth of a tree, the development of a child into adulthood (ok, not completely free, but you know what I mean), the establishment of a friendship where you can be  completely yourself with that person.

There is also a correlation between these things and being real, true, kind and gentle. Today's world consists of so much sham, hype and insincerity, we have to consciously disconnect from it, and engage with a higher power to transform us. The trouble is, it's difficult to take the time to wait.

"In this time, how did you cope with the waiting?" he asks unexpectedly.
"The waiting?" she asks, not quite sure how to answer this question...
" seems such a waste of time, and I want things to have happened yesterday instead of tomorrow," he replies seriously.
"Hmm," reflects the narrator. "What I have learned about waiting is that, as you know, 'to wait' is a verb. Therefore it is an action word. During that time I experienced internal, rather than external activity. I wonder though if it is only waiting that you are dealing with or is there a sense of simply waiting it all at once as well."

The narrator is The Wise Woman from Tekoa, a book by Lynne Robinson, which I've enjoyed. She goes on to observe that getting it all at once would lead to boredom and stagnation, and perhaps even purposelessness. That life is a journey, with surprises and possibilities, and not achieving all our needs at once. That our problem is time itself.

When we feel unease, or driven, that could be just the signpost we need to recognise that we are on the wrong road. We should seek instead the lessons and experiences which bring peace. Peace is not stagnation, it is not never taking a risk, it is not only the pursuit of long term goals; it is the right thing at the right time.

This morning's hymn is very old, and I've always loved the words. Written by William D. Longstaff in the 1800s, it is the only one he wrote. Based on the Scripture - "Be Holy as I am Holy" (1 Peter 1:16), it reminds us how. And also that holiness isn't piety, parading good works or hypocritical masquerading - with deceit hiding evil. Instead it is being transformed, quietly, in secret. And it takes time.

Here's a beautiful rendition by the Mormon Tabernacle choir.

I'll leave you now - take some time.

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