What time is it?
It seems there is a timelessness to life right now, and probably not in a good way. Our “normal” patterns and ways of marking time are disrupted. Many people are unemployed, which affects the way they order their time. Others, like health care workers, clergy, and teachers (just to name a few) are working harder than ever – working in person and online and in all kinds of synchronous and asynchronous combinations. Thanksgiving patterns were different this year, and we can expect Christmas to offer challenges to our concept of “normal” time too.
Fortunately, there are practices that enable us to experience “time” in ways that are grounding and nurturing. On December 21 we will enter winter, and the changing of the seasons occurs regardless of who wins elections or what virus is afflicting us. Can we sense the changing day length? If we can’t appreciate the growing darkness, can we at least notice it and honor the rhythms of the earth that continue regardless of our human condition? Many of our religious cycles (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost) occur every year, and while the way they are expressed may change with the current pandemic or other world events, their invitations to a deeper spiritual life expressed inwardly and in our actions is not muted. These observances invite us to reflect and to celebrate God’s timeless and expansive love for us in ways that can embrace us in this current reality and even help us transcend the limited view of time our culture proffers.[Read more…]