WHERE does the time go? Is it just me, or are events and time itself seeming to whirl by at breakneck speed? It’s already the end of June. The days are getting shorter now in the Northern Hemisphere. There is a sense among many people that time has taken on an ungodly acceleration.
We are heading towards the end of time. Now the more we approach the end of time, the more quickly we proceed—this is what’s extraordinary. There is, as it were, a very significant acceleration in time; there’s an acceleration in time just as there’s an acceleration in speed. And we go faster and faster. We must be very attentive to this to understand what is happening in today’s world. —Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe, O.P., The Catholic Church at the End of an Age, Ralph Martin, p. 15-16
I’ve already written about this in The Shortening of Days and The Spiral of Time. And what is it with the reoccurrence of 1:11 or 11:11? Not everyone sees it, but many do, and it always seems to carry a word… time is short… it’s the eleventh hour… the scales of justice are tipping (see my writing 11:11). What’s funny is that you can’t believe how difficult it has been to find time to write this meditation!
I have really sensed the Lord telling me often this year that time is valuable, that we are not to waste it. That does not mean that we shouldn’t rest. In fact, this is the great gift of the Sabbath (something I’ve been wanting to write you about for months!) It is a day when God wants us to cease all work and just rest…rest in Him. What a gift this is! We actually have a license to be lazy, to sleep, to read a book, to go for a walk, to "kill time." Yes, stop it dead in its tracks and tell it that, at least for the next 24 hours, I will not be your slave. That said, we should always rest in God. We need to be more and do less. Alas, the culture of the West, especially in North America, defines a person by their output, not by their input, that is the interior life. And this is what we need to focus on more and more as followers of Jesus: cultivating a life in God. It is from this interior walk with Him in which we slow down, recognize His presence, and do everything in and with Him, that our efforts begin to bear supernatural fruit. This applies especially to those working in the Church, lest we become mere social workers rather than sowers of the Kingdom of God. In fact, when living in the present moment like this, I have often found that time has slowed down and even multiplied!
If I were Satan, I would want the world to become so incredibly fast, that everything including every Word from God’s mouth simply rushes by, and we hear nothing. Because God is speaking today, clearly. I am stunned when I speak with clergy and layman alike, and how often they are not in touch with the spiritual pulse of our world that has taken on a great urgency that, at least, the Holy Father has enunciated (see Catholic Fundamentalist?). It’s often because we are caught in the rapids of doing rather than the gentle streams of being. Both will carry you forward, but only one lets you take in the surroundings around you. We have to be careful, because God is speaking to us so as to direct us! He is calling us to a paramount attentiveness without which we will falter in the growing calamities and un-calm of world events that are now affecting everyone to one degree or another (see Do You Hear His Voice?)
This week, once again, the Lord seemed to break away from the personal words I receive in prayer, to a more general word for the Body of Christ. After sharing it with my spiritual director, I write it here for your discernment. Again, it has to do with time….
My child, My child, how little time there is left! How little opportunity there is for My people to get their house in order. When I come, it will be like a blazing fire, and people will have no time to do that which they have put off. The hour is coming, as this hour of preparation comes to a close. Weep, My people, for the Lord your God is deeply offended and wounded by your negligence. Like a thief in the night I will come, and will I find all My children asleep? Wake up! Wake up, I tell you, for you do not realize how near is the time of your trial. I am with you and always will be. Are you with Me? —June 16th, 2011
Are you with Jesus? If not, then take a moment this day to begin again with Him. Forget the excuses and litany of reasons. Just say, "Lord, I am rushing around without you. Forgive me. Help me to live in You in the present moment. Help me to love you with all my heart, all my soul, and all my strength. Lord, let us go on together." And don’t forget this Sunday to rest. The Sabbath, in fact, is meant to be a pattern of the interior life for the rest of the week. That is, one can dwell and rest in God, even while the exterior life has its demands. For the soul who learns to live in this way, Heaven has already come to earth.
Some of you may have noticed that I have not put out many webcasts. There are two reasons: one is that I do not see the need to keep broadcasting for the sake of broadcasting. I am not building a franchise here, but trying to convey a word from the Lord whenever I feel that’s what He wants. Second, is—you guessed it—time. My wife’s health has taken a turn since Christmas; nothing life-threatening at this point, but certainly it has taken away her ability to handle some of her previous workload. So I have taken over the home-schooling duties. On top of that is this full-time ministry as well as the demands of our sustenance farm here, which now that it’s summer, is kicking into high gear with haying, etc. So please understand that I may not be as consistent as I like.
That said, the Lord has made it clear to me that I am not to neglect the Word of God. And so, please keep me in your prayers. The battle is more intense than I’ve experienced in my nearly 20 years of ministry. And yet, grace is always there; God is always waiting for us…. if we just take the time.
…that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being…’ (Acts 17:27-28)