To discern what time it is has become seemingly my primary task. Having undertaken Duke’s Doctor of Ministry program amidst my sabbatical year, I am constantly asking myself – What time is it? Is it time to read, think, write, or edit? Is it time to close my computer and work on a puzzle with the younger one tugging at my side? Is it time to insert myself into the quibbles and squabbles of two brothers acting out the day’s exhaustion upon each other? Is it time to persist in cleaning up the day’s mess? Is it time to surrender to the fatigue of carrying this nearly-grown human life?
Is it time for productivity?
Is it time for presence?
The Sermon on the Mount has occupied my short morning quiet times lately. Jesus keeps trying to school me on how I am to answer.
Where my treasured time is, there my heart is.
Prayers for food, forgiveness, and rescue are always
more rewarding than prayers for personal achievement.
They say “give 10% of your time,”
I say “seek first the One who gives you life.”
No one can serve two masters… you cannot serve God and productivity.
The clock is ticking. 2 days until the oldest turns six. 6 days until the final D.Min paper is due, completing the first term. 26 days until baby brother leaves the wombs for our arms. The to-do list swells. Anxiety enters and invites me to dwell in its false promises. I ask again – what time is it?
In moments of clarity, I get off my knees to realize that Anxiety has led me before the gold-plated throne of its Master, Productivity. Helped to my feet by a Spirit stronger and wiser than I, I come to the Divine Master into whom I was baptized and ordained. I kneel there instead. I remember that I chose this Master of Presence. I agreed that this Master can set the agenda, usurp the priorities, and reimagine the plans.
Before long, I find myself not groveling at the feet of the Master but embraced and held by the God who knows my needs, knows my name, and knows what time it is.
What time is it? It is time to strive first, worry last.