JULY 20, 2020 MONDAY
For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night. — Psalm 90:4
Dear Church Family,
I have noticed that time feels different right now – COVID-19, adjusting to physical distancing, taking extra precautions to protect others, and ourselves. Other changes rock our world. We have suppressed as a society that now we have an opportunity to address and fix. Nostalgia — I would think of the “good old days,” when people were less divided and angry. I now don’t think those days were as good as they seem now – for some, maybe, but not others.
Depending on how many years you have lived — you may think more closely of time as a “clock-ticking.” When I was in my twenties, the world – the church, ministry was open in front of me. I wasn’t thinking about an end. I began to hear the clock slightly, when I turned 30. I turned 40 in Roanoke. Karen and the church surprised me with a birthday party. One of my dearest friends was an owner of a local funeral home. Sam and Karen conspired for a fun evening around the theme of aging. I could laugh because I was still young enough to kick the can of mortality down the road.
Now I ask, as Henri Nouwen once wrote — “How am I going to use the few years left to me?” I have hit and passed those markers I made, of aging — “I’ll be old when I am 50, 60.” To God, as the Psalmist writes — “A thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past.” I am out and about much less these days, not by choice. I would think time’s passing would slow.
Counting years becomes more real in times like these. I wonder if I shall be here for a new normal people talk about. It is “time” from below — as Nouwen says — based on a chronology that is all we have. In truth, our “clock time” is already known and held in God’s loving hands. Our lives are not measured in chronological time, but eternal life and time. That is hope, not dread, as in the earlier years.
I find the more I live, the more I realize how important — it is to claim that love God offers — to remember we are in God’s hands — and we know and trust the One who has is, now and always. In the meantime live here – in that hope. Immerse yourself in Jesus’ vision, focusing on the world God intends and wills for us – loving one another, dreaming and working as we can for the kingdom of God, as we pray, on earth as in heaven. Live more confidently and gently — as Ash Wednesday reminds us — in God’s everlasting arms of love. These years that feel like a thousand in our lives right now — is not even a day for the Lord.Be at peace in God has you, today and every day, in love that never let’s you go, Fr. Steve