One Thousand Gifts – a book review chapter 4

A Sanctuary of Time

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien

Time is life. And if I want the fullest life, I need to find the fullest time…the busyness of your life leaving little room for the source of your life…God gives us time.  And who has time for God?  Which makes no sense.  In Christ, don’t we have everlasting existence?…If Christians run out of time – wouldn’t we lose our very own existence?  If anyone should have time, isn’t it the Christ-followers?…’We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing’ (Psalm 39:6)…I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. (Mark Buchanan)…Haste makes waste…hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur. (Evelyn Underhill)

Hurry always empties a soul.

So why am I busy?  hurried?  Is it because I think something truly hinges on me?  Will the show stop if my family of six shows up a few minutes late?  Will the day be permanently bruised if the dishes, clothes, and toys aren’t all in their place by such and such a time?  Will I end each day pondering only of the things I didn’t do instead of what I did?  God says there is no benefit in toiling early in the morning to late in the night for such matters…those temporary things will continue to arise.  Engaging in the temporary is not the problem; it’s when we engage in it as if we were part of the temporary.  We are an eternal people, who are to live for eternal purposes.  If something is to grieve me it better be over an eternal sorrow.  If something is to have my devotion, it better be something I can be eternally devoted to.  If something is to shake me or shape me or cause a reaction from me, I hope it is something that will make me more like Him for all eternity!

When I fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here…And when I’m always looking for the next glimpse of glory, I slow and enter…This is where God is.  In the present.  I AM – His very name…This I need to consecrate: time.

I will not desecrate this moment with ignorant hurry or sordid ingratitude.

Eucharisteo (thanksgiving) always precedes the miracle…Thanksgiving makes time…slow time down with all your attention – and your basket of not-enough-time multiplies into more than enough time.

Yes!  The past few months have been the most wonderful and “new” moments of my life!  Living intentionally, really noticing, and giving thanks after thanks for the gift after gift has made the minutes count!  I don’t go to bed feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day; I lay down assured that I lived each of the 24 I had been given.  I notice Him in the quiet and candle light as I sit with coffee and Bible, in the laughter and voices of my children as I attend to wants and needs, in the light on the chair, on the tea pot, on the window box as I go about daily chores, in the touch of the man I married as he holds me close and kisses my lips.  He is here!

The real problem of life is never a lack of time.  The real problem of life – in my life – is lack of thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving creates abundance; and the miracle of multiplying happens when I give thanks – take the one loaf, say it is enough, and give thanks – and He miraculously makes it more than enough.

…life is so urgent it necessitates living slow…The fast have spiritually slow hearts (Luke 24:13-35)…It takes a full twenty minutes after your stomach is full for your brain to register satiation.  How long does it take your soul to realize that your life is full? The slower the living, the greater the sense of fullness and satisfaction…Life is dessert – to brief to hurry.

I want to slow down and taste life, give thanks, and see  God.

Contentment.  Simplicity.  Two words that I want to define a lot of my life.  When I live here right now the moments are sweeter…even if they are tough.  When I give thanks for this time, this experience, this hardship, this victory I can savor the gift…savor the Savior.  He is good!

Don’t I always have the choice to be fully attentive?  Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus.  Eucharisteo…that keeps the focus simple – sacred.

…there’s this deepening awareness that I am filling, gaining time.

I am aware – like never before!  They say that life flashes before your eyes before you die, but what about life being lived out right before your eyes when you’re in the moment?  That’s how I feel.  It’s as if I’m watching this “other” person live in my house, with my husband and children, dealing with that issue like I never thought I could, loving them in ways I never dreamed I’d be able to, writing down gifts I never noticed before.  It’s me…gaining a greater understanding of the life God is dreaming for me.  It’s me…knowing that I am His child and that He loves me!  It’s me…seeing Him…for the first time over and over again.  It is me…falling in love…living in love.  It’s me…giving thanks and receiving the miracle.

Eucharisteo ALWAYS precedes the miracle!