Take a moment. Think of everything you need to do today. Think of everything you need to do this week. Even this month.
Now think about someone telling you to stop. For an unestablished period of time. Starting right now.
What is your gut reaction? Do you beg for 24 hours to get organized first? Do you “stop” in theory but the reality is that you are still going strong? Do you welcome the break and figure things will take care of themselves?
For most of us who are stopped dead in our tracks we panic. Sure at different levels and in different ways but underneath it all is a sense of panic. TIME IS RUNNING OUT!
This exact scenario happened to me. I am here to assure you that time is NOT running out.
This is an invitation to slow down.
Time has always been and will always be. (The theology and reality of this is long and complicated and I could be wrong…I know, but hang with me.) My personal summary is that in the beginning (time word) there was (time word). And in the end (time word) there will be (time word). In the most literal sense time itself is not running out.
This should help us feel relieved. We are not at the mercy of time.
As I have sat in this for going on 6 weeks I have gone through many feelings:
Panic: What is going to happen with _____?
Fear: If I don’t _____ who will?
Regret: If I had only done ______ then I wouldn’t have to deal with my current situation.
Numb: Whatever. ________will get done somehow.
Wondering: Well, if I can’t _______, what CAN I do?
Relief: I couldn’t do _______if I tried, glad I don’t have to try right now.
Acceptance: Just because I can’t do _____, doesn’t mean I can’t _____.
The clock is still moving. The world is still turning. And I am still a part of it.
You see, in accepting that time does not rule me I feel like I have been given the gift of perspective. If time does not rule my days what does? What ARE my priorities?
To get to this place I had to stop completely. Can you stop? Will you? Even for a moment?
Now that I am nearing the end of the stillness I start fresh. Clearer. More aware.
I am not ruled by time. I am only limited by capacity. What can I do? What can my one single person Handle? Manage? Process? Give?
I’m still sorting this out but I know my family is a big part. And the work commitments I have made. My husband matters a great deal. Our community both church and local have a piece of my heart.
If time were my ruler I would look at that list and feel defeated before I even began. I don’t feel that way. In slowing all these areas have still required attention and all have received it. Not because of time but because of who I am.
This is the place I am called to right now.
As I look at it today I don’t see a full calendar or feel overwhelmed with lacking energy or endurance. Instead, I see a list of things I have been called to love and in my heart and soul know, my God given capacity is enough.
Time is not running out. I am not chasing her and she is not chasing me. Instead, I am walking in the ever growing knowledge of who I am today and what I can do. Right here. Right now. For it is the now that matters most.