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Time out

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Matthew 1:1-17
This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham … the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.

With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. Is time a renewable resource, or do we eventually run out of time? Is it so valuable we can’t waste a minute, or is there always more where that came from?

The answer is not the same, they say, in California as it is in Illinois. That’s a joke, I think. But there are many countries less developed than America where people, and the activities of the moment, are far more important than any five-year plan, or even a plan for the day. There’s always tomorrow.

This perspective is certainly more sympathetic to the idea of the eternal now. I have never thought of eternity as an endless stream of 24-hour days, and perhaps I don’t need to be quite so boxed in to seeing my time on earth that way either.

What mattered to Jesus ought to matter to me. He lived with great physical energy from day to day. Everything he had available to give each day, he gave. The word we have coined to describe this phenomenon is “flow.” We lose track of time when we are in the flow. Nothing matters but what is happening now. Past and future merely provide perspective, rather than taking energy away from the present.

Is this one part of learning to live how Jesus lived? I think so. What matters is not my schedule but the people, places, things, animals, vegetables, minerals … all the onward rushing river of life that we are all in together.

Be. Here. Now. Jesus says it so many ways.

Love God, love your neighbor, love yourself. Take the time.

And with your blessing, Father, I may be late to church because someone needs help along the road. Thanks for living your own life without a watch on your wrist, Jesus.

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