“That we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
For many years I have been an avid almanac user. When I was in my junior scientist stage (seriously using a microscope, telescope, and chemistry set), the almanac helped me locate and identify the planets. Which one was that morning star or that evening star this season? Which one was that floating just off to the right of the crescent moon tonight?
I still buy a new almanac every year and refer to it every few days. Though I no longer have a telescope, I still do like to know which bright objects I’m looking at in the night sky. It increases my wonder and my joy to know that what I’m seeing up there above the tree line is Mars or is Saturn.
And over the years I have come to pay more attention to other bits of information from the almanac’s pages. Saints’ Days that might otherwise pass unnoticed. Holy Days that aren’t recognized by the Episcopal Church, but are being observed by other Christians, or by people of other faiths. Days of general historical importance. Or sometimes just the arcane trivia of what happened in some particular place, at some particular time. Perhaps the overall attachment I feel to the almanac comes from it giving me, through all of its information, a heightened sense of the awareness of time.
Usually I’m quite aware of the passage of time. How much more time do I have today to finish what needs to get done? How long will it take me to get to that appointment? Can I find the time to relax a bit today, or do I have to wait until another day? So often we may feel that we are just biding our time—waiting, enduring time as it passes.
But what might we gain if we looked at time differently? If we thought more about abiding in time—being fully present at each moment of time? I’m reminded of Jesus’ words: “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4) Clearly, Jesus is talking about a deep and enduring connection. One that is fully here and now, but also exists outside of the passage of time. One that is eternal.
What could you do to heighten your sense of the awareness of time? What could you try in order to be more fully present at each moment of the time you have been given? How might nurturing your connection to Jesus help you more fully to abide in time and in eternity?
The Rev. Bill Queen