Word of the Week

Sacred Time

In a world and a part of the country filled with constantly busy people with blackberries full of commitments, I've been thinking a lot lately about the concept of sacred time both in the church and in my own life as well.

Being in the volunteer business, the church is constanly asking for commitments of time of its members. Will you teach ESL  this fall for a couple of hours? Will you serve on this committee and stay after church monthly for a meeting? Will you volunteer in the nursery?

Though it is easy to to take such responsiblities for granted, any commitments of time to ministry is indeed sacred. There are thousands of other things Washington Plaza and other church folks could be doing with their time. But, in making themakes_eat_time choice to give it to the church it is a gift to be celebrated.

I would even go as far to say that such moments of service should be savored as beautiful: teachers leading ESL classes and children's Sunday School. Persons taking collections of food to the Community Pantry. Members gathered around talking about how to improve the logistics of our worship services.

While they only last for an hour or two, the effects are long lasting. These are moments that say what we are doing as a church makes a difference in people's lives. They are moments that we can know what we are doing does matter in the world.

But I think sacred time can be found in the most ordinary of life situations.

Conversations with friends where insight is gained and communion of thought is felt. Moments of being with someone you love and not having to say anything at all, but knowing what they might be thinking by looking at their face. Moments of having eyes to see blessings all around you that you'd normally overlook. Moments of enjoying a meal with taste buds to enjoy every bite.

Yet, while all of this sounds nice, it is all the more difficult to claim this kind of time on a regular basis for yourself.

As soon it seems that I set aside for something that I love "Pilates class Thursdays" or "date night" or even "day off" it seems that keeping such activities scared is difficult. 

Folks become deathly ill requiring a visit. It is a conference week out of town. I'm behind on something that had a immediate deadline that just can not wait. Church activities that find their way to the weekend. Or, even yet, plans are made with folks who also have trouble keeping their schedule simple too! It all turns into a never ending  plan B, plan C, you get the point . . .

Having consistent amounts of sacred time in your life, I think has a lot to do with not only saying "no" to the stuff in life that doesn't matter, but with continuing to claim time as sacred even when it doesn't come easily.  Saying: "I will rest today. I will go to the gym. I will make Sunday morning worship an important part of my spiritual life."

Without this kind of gumption, I fear, you and I will continue to be swayed along life's path doing a lot of stuff that we neither care about nor feeds or soul.

Here's to wishing you many moments of sacred time in the week ahead!