In time

On the way home, an interesting radio piece about time, and our over-scheduled lives. Our relationship with time, the professor indicated, has become too rigid and unforgiving, less enjoyable than it might be, given more flexibility and forgiveness.

I had to smile, because I had just come from a centering prayer meeting, a regularly scheduled time out of time. We had read, as our introduction to our prayer time, from the Preface to Richard Holloway’s A New Heaven, notably this:

Particularly do we want all the moments that transfigure time to continue, to stay their onward rush. It is Time, then, that we wish to be redeemed from; but all our schemes for self-redemption are themselves caught on the wheel of time … That strange, tattered glory, the Christian Church, claims that there is a redemption from the rat-trap of time and successiveness and tragedy. It claims that there is a meaning which enfolds it, but it can only be spoken in riddles and parables and whispered poetry of bread that lives and endures for ever.

Time is my brother,
a fellow creature,
one of the first; for without time
can even God make a beginning?

Time is a bully, relentless,
unconstrained by mercy,
unchained by compassion,
with no respect for rank,

or reason. Jesus said,
Love your enemies, pray
for those who persecute you.
Is there a blessing for time?

These is. It comes
on the heels of one who
fasted in the wilderness
the long days.

It flows through the hours
of sunset, pouring wine
in the garden.

It comes with the slowness of death,
the cold pause of the tomb.

It rises with first light,
creation reborn;
without time, could even
God make such a beginning?

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