Ch. 4: A Sanctuary of Time
Excerpts: Wherever you are, be all there. This is where God is. In the present. I Am. It’s not the gifts that fulfill, but the holiness of the space. The God in it. Thanks makes now a sanctuary. I will not desecrate this moment with ignorant hurry or sordid ingratitude. In between “a few loaves and fish” and “enough to feed a crowd,” Jesus gave thanks. The crossing over that took the “not enough” and made it “enough.” Gave thanks. Thanksgiving makes time. In Christ, urgent means slow. In Christ, the most urgent necessitates a slow and steady reverence.
When I think about Jesus–how He walked, how He talked, how He went about doing good–when I think about His pace, I don’t imagine Him hurrying. His pace was more steady, consistent, unworried that He wouldn’t “accomplish it all” before His death. He was thoughtful, deliberate, and regularly pushed back on his disciples to take more time (with the kids, with the ill, with the destitute) than to hustle along to the more important thing “requiring” His immediate attention.
In the person of Jesus, we see the great I Am incarnated. We see a man who lives each moment in the moment.
It strikes me that the more mature I become in my faith–the more I look like Jesus–the less stressed, urgent, busy I will be. “Only amateurs hurry.” That thought has greatly affected me the last couple weeks, and I have noted the times I felt inclined to rush through, to desecrate the moment and lose sight of God in it. I’ve caught myself thinking that the moment I’m rushing through is a chore (not a gift) and the real gift lies in the moment after this. Or thinking that I have to rush or things won’t go well (essentially trusting in my ability to control outcomes by living fast, rather than trusting God’s ability to control outcomes because I am being present with Him in this moment).
As I have slowed down and refused to hurry or be hurried, I have experienced much greater peace. The people around me are more at peace, too (I suspect stress and anxiety are like communicable diseases). There’s more calm in our home, more joy in my relationships, and I haven’t actually lost or missed out on anything I would have had if I’d hurried.
Practicing the presence of the present has increased my delight in the Lord and made me more confident that by His grace, I won’t miss out on anything He has for me. I see more, enjoy more, live more.
It’s starting to work!