by Mike Friesen
Mike has guest posted often here; I love this post below. Enjoy! You can follow Mike on twitter here.
My parents recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. It’s interesting because when I heard my Mom reflecting on it, she talked about the good times and the bad times. But, she talked about how blessed she was to have been married to my dad.
A friend of mine just celebrated 90 days of sobriety. They talked about the days in which they were stressed out and how much they wanted to go back to drinking. But, ultimately, they feel freer because they were off of it.
Around two years ago, a kid that I mentored, someone who was like the little brother I never had, died. I still miss him more than ever. But, when I drive by his house every day on my way to work, I feel the absence but the fond memories also fill me with presence.
I was listening to my friend talk recently and he was disappointed with where his life was. He felt shame because there is the life he has, or is living, and there is an awareness of the life he could have lived. He felt like his life was a wasted opportunity. He felt like he was wasting his time.
Time is an interesting thing. The recognition of time creates gratitude or sometimes shame. Because for some people, the awareness of time becomes a celebration of all of the things we have done, all the things we have seen, and all that we have overcome. But, for others, it is recognition of all they haven’t done. For them, they see time as shame. Time, for them, represents a life wasted. Time is also interesting because the awareness of time, like it does for me within death, creates a response that time is limited. And, the limitations create a gratitude for the time I have with people. Time creates an awareness of how much these people matter to me. Because when they’re gone, they’re gone. And, when they’re here, they must be cherished.
God has some interesting things to say about time to us.
The first thing is that on the seventh day God created Sabbath. Sabbath is God’s way of saying that you are not a production machine. Sabbath is God’s way of saying that rest is Holy. Sabbath is God’s way of saying that time is Holy. Sabbath is God’s way of restoring God’s kingdom on earth. The earth tells us to produce more, to be busy, and to remain restless and ambitious. God says rest is necessary for intimacy with God and the world.
The second thing is that God promises us that he will return. God’s return will come when the Church has manifested the Kingdom in preparation for God to be here. This means that all things will be restored. We don’t have to worry and we don’t have to panic. We just have to be present and faithful to God’s work in the life around us.
The third thing is that through Jesus, his life, death and resurrection, God is reconciling all things to himself. Through Jesus, we can live in God’s narrative for humanity. Through Jesus, the second coming is possible. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus redeem time because we are living in God’s time.
Our job is not to be workaholics. Our job is not to live franticly and be production machines. Our job is to be present to the life we have. Being present disarms the anxiety and shame of the world and offers it hope by bringing back the awareness that we are living in God’s time. In God’s time, there is peace. In God’s time, there is hope. In God’s time, the kingdom is present. We have all the time in the world.
Listen to someone’s story.
Don’t try to fix the world’s problems. Weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn.
Celebrate life with those around you. They matter and we only have them for so long.
Don’t shame yourself for not being where you are “supposed to be.” You are where you are; be in your actual life.
by Mike Friesen
You can follow Mike on twitter here.