Taking Time (Lydia Calder)

I recently met a woman who had formed a Christian support group for widows. It was successful on many levels, but she had one major disappointment:  “I saw older widows with time on their hands, but a lot less energy and mobility.  I wanted to show them the value of intercessory prayer. I wanted them to see the impact they could continue to have in their families and churches and communities and even the world if they would commit to prayer.  I failed.  They wouldn’t do it.”

I nodded in agreement, remembering situations where I had been similarly frustrated.  “We can’t make people want to pray,” I said. “It’s sad to think that as Christians we have the opportunity to commune with the Creator of the Universe and we choose not to.”  I paused. “But that’s me too.  I don’t pray as much as I ought to…as much as I need to.”

“Same here,” she said with a sigh. “I just get so busy doing things for God that I neglect to spend time with God.”

We cannot see God the same way we see that irritable child who has waited too long for dinner to be made. We cannot hear God as we hear our spouse calling for us to hurry or be late for church. We cannot sense God’s presence as acutely as we feel our anxieties and compulsions.

God doesn’t use text messages or emails or cell phones.  Those vibrations and chimes and ring tones bother us until we respond. God will wait quietly. God has eternity.

God doesn’t use bill boards and advertisements and TV jingles that compete for our attention. God’s voice is still and small in a world of shrill and outrageous.

God doesn’t offer immediate results – sparkling teeth, micro-waved food, faster cars.  Zoom. Zoom. God calls us to lie down by still waters, to pause while our souls are refreshed.

Carl Honore, a Canadian journalist and the author of the book, “In Praise of Slowness” says, “In the headlong dash of daily life we often lose sight of the damage that this Road Runner form of living does to us.  We’re so marinated in the culture of speed that we almost fail to notice the toll it takes on every aspect of our lives: our health, diet, work, relationships, the environment and our community… We’re hurrying through our lives instead of actually living them.”

The Saviour came that we might have life… in abundance.

That means slowing down, taking time, listening attentively, living deliberately.

Submitted by Lydia Calder, on behalf of Mill Woods Presbyterian Church