Sunday, February 8, 2015

Making time

In English we will often say that we need to make time for this or that thing. The problem is that we can't make time. Time simply is.God made it. He belongs to him. We now know that it not a constant, and that it is related in a way that we cannot fully explain with space which also belongs to God. God created us as well and allows us to occupy space on this earth for a finite period of time. We call this life. It also belongs to God who gave it to us as a gift. Once we realize that we cannot make time or even take time we will be much happier people. We stop saying stupid things like, "That person is wasting my time."

Our time on earth is a short and finite thing, a precious gift from God, to be used with great care. Once a moment is past. It is gone never to return. Perhaps the best metaphor we have is money,because we can spend time and we can waste time. But even that image falls short because we cannot earn time.

If we look carefully at the gospel today Jesus is exceedingly aware of the brevity of his time. As I have mentioned before, in Mark's Gospel almost everything happens "immediately", one thing after another.

Two things about how Jesus makes use of the time that he has on earth:

First, in the midst of all of his busyness he dedicates time to prayer. The gospel tells us that he got up early in the morning, left, went to a deserted place, and prayed. Here is giving us the model for our daily life. Each of us needs to spend part of each day alone with God. And it has taken me most of my life to realize that Jesus is right about when we need to do it, first thing in the morning. First, because it roots our day in God. Secondly, because our days tend to take off, get out of control, and by the end of the day we are too tired for quality time with God.

The other thing that is worth noting is how Jesus chooses how to spend his time. The crowds want to see more miracles but when the disciples come and tell Jesus that they are looking for him, his response is

Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.

He has his priorities in order. He does not simply respond to the crowd. He does not allow himself to be swept along by the current.

None of us knows how much time we have left on this earth. Treat every minute as a precious gift, and beginning tomorrow get up in the morning, find a quiet place, and pray.