“I don’t have time for this!”
I gritted my teeth and barked at my then 5-year-old son. I was in a hurry to get somewhere and my son had forgotten his shoes in the house. He ran to get them and I fumed. As I drove away, the sentence I had barked haunted me, “I don’t have time for this!”
I don’t have time for this? I was a stay-at-home mom at the time. If I didn’t have time to care for my sons, what in the world did I have time for? That sentence began a work in my heart to change my orientation to time.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV)
Perfection…in the next five minutes. Everything the way I want it in the time frame I expect. This is a tendency that I can carry with me, just beneath the surface. It shows up in my negative talk about myself, and my too high expectations of myself and those around me.
It can be easy to find ourselves under the pressure of all that we do for others. Sometimes, it’s not even that heroic. We are simply under the demands that we place on ourselves…demands that may or may not have anything to do with the easy yoke of Jesus. I have been learning to be open to more and more grace over time.
- What if I had a broader view of time?
- What if I thought seasonally in addition to daily?
- What if the time I was given was actually enough?
- What if I could live at the pace of grace?
All throughout nature we see the examples of process: cycles of life, death and renewal. What if we had such a view of our own lives? Each of us moving beautifully through our own processes, giving grace to ourselves along the way. What if we allowed the seasons of our lives to ebb and flow? How might we move more graciously through our days?
A wise friend of mine recently shared, “Life does not come at me. It comes to me.” Shifting those two little prepositions can make a world of difference. Can I come out from under my own demands and enjoy the process? That question might have prevented me from barking at my son about his forgotten shoes.
Life does not come at me. It comes to me. (CLICK TO TWEET)
A few years ago I stumbled upon an invention called The Present. It is a clock that takes one year for the hands to make one revolution around the dial. Just looking at the way the colors bleed from one to the other helps me to take a deep breath.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NLT)
Take a look at a couple of images of The Present (below) and ponder a few questions.
- How do the blending of color and season affect your perception of time?
- How does this compare with your view of a traditional clock with numbers denoting hours?
- How can this contrast help you with your inner pace?
As you give some thought to your own inner pace…
- What do you notice?
- What is the speed of your thoughts? Your heart?
- Are there habits or tasks to lay down?
- Are there new graces to pick up?
Giving attention to our inner pace can open us up to a whole new level of grace…grace embraced and grace extended. (CLICK TO TWEET)
Spend just a few moments with Jesus in some silence. Linger in these questions with Him. Allow Him to show you what grace He may have for you.
Be sure to share your thoughts on time in the comments below. We love hearing from you.