One of the most frequent comments I hear these days is how quickly time is passing. We wonder if it’s just because we’re getting older that it seems so – but younger people are saying it too. Perhaps it’s because we’re so busy and it seems time is being stolen from us by our over-active lives. (There was a website in my in-box this morning offering workshops on how to be less busy as well as “keeping your eye on the path.” – common themes lately.) The Christmas rush is already in high gear, mixed with groaning about the “warp speed” approach of Thanksgiving and potential travel glitches. Even writing this brings a feeling of urgency, although I plan to stay home and relax through both of those holiday events; the whirlwind is just everywhere in and around our days.
All this blathering on my part arose from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians this morning (1 THESS 5:1-6) He’s talking about “the day of the Lord” overtaking people who aren’t alert “like a thief in the night.” The beginning of the reading says, however: Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you…presupposing that they’ll be ready for whatever comes. It seems a bit of a warning not to get caught up in our busyness. He says at the end of the reading, Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.
Going back to that website, I was thinking that rather than abdicating my responsibility (and my financial resources) to someone to find out how to be less busy, maybe I should just sit down, take a breath and make a list of priorities about the next six weeks so that I can then spend a little time thinking of the deeper meaning of these “times and seasons” that are upon us. While I’m waking up to this activity, finding peace and focus for the task, I might choose to read my favorite translation of the psalm for today (128) that gives a vision of what it’s all really about.
Blessed are you who walk upon the paths of God. Your life is filled with many hidden blessings, which overflow as from your hands, the gift of many labors. And blessings like fruit-bearing trees and vines spring forth and flourish from the garden of your house; your spouse and children are its yield. And all who honor God upon this path shall know a cornucopia of good. For it is God, the center of the heart, who prospers life until its end. So you who hear and pray this prayer, come close and live within the circle of God’s care, and may God’s special peace be yours, one generation to another.