Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Time and freedom

Barbara Crafton maintains a website called The Geranium Farm (click HERE). She is a prolific writer, and she sends an email nearly every day with a reflection. This one came last week, and I am still pondering it. Take your time with this, all the time you need. It is about time.

By Barbara Crafton
Perhaps it's getting to the airport that makes travel tiring. Certainly sitting on a plane while someone else flies it isn't taxing -- at least, it shouldn't be. But flying halfway across the country wears me out. And so does flying for an hour or less. No reason for it, but there it is.

I am wondering it it is the unnaturalness of such speedy traversing of the earth's surface that does this. Maybe we're just not supposed to move so fast. Travel somewhere by sea, and the time zones yield to one another gradually -- you don't arrive somewhere at an earlier hour than the one at which you left home. But you can travel far and fast enough enough from certain places to certain other places to arrive at your destination the day before you set out for it. Maybe that's just not meant to be.

Or maybe it is. I believe that time is an earthly thing. God doesn't have it -- or, rather, God holds time, but is not held by it, as we are. For us, its grip is iron. None of us escape its passing, and the passing of time feels sad to us more often than it feels glad. We mark the passing time time by the things it has taken from us: "Oh, that must have been before my mother died," we say, and we accumulate a wistful string of such markers, more and more of them as life goes on.

It is not so with God. All moments are now in the kingdom of heaven, where all are in Christ and Christ is all in all. All, as in everything: everyone, every time, every place. Everything. You and me: all we are and ever were and ever shall be.

It always surprises me that more people don't grasp what good news this is for us. It's more than an interesting mathmatical puzzle: it's eternal life. We're not trapped here, bleakly and endlessly counting our mounting losses. We -- and they-- are folded into God's now, and this is true right now. That moment you wish you could have again still exists. And so does the one you haven't had yet, the hidden one for which you wait. So do all our yesterdays, and all our tomorrows.

Our current experience is otherwise, of course, except in the odd dream, the mystical moment, the times we spend in "the zone," when we look at the clock in disbelief at how quickly an hour has passed. Mostly what we feel is our bondage to time, not our freedom from it.

But it is the freedom that will last. Not our captivity.

Painting of geraniums by Catherine "Katina" Pastis Radwanski

1 comment:

Mary Carolyn said...

Ah! One of my favorite people on the planet. I'm glad you enjoy her, too. As she has a really bad ticker, I imagine this is a subject on which she has pondered both day and night. Thank you for sharing this with the congregation.

Mary Carolyn