Given that I’m in the habit of getting up before 5 am most weekdays, it won’t surprise you to learn that I’m not a big fan of daylight saving.
When told the reason for daylight saving time, an old native American Indian said:
‘Only a white man would believe that you could
cut a foot off the top of a blanket and
sew it to the bottom of a blanket and
have a longer blanket.’
Australian author and historian, Mary Durack once wrote:
“The people of the dream watched the people of the clock come out of the sea and strike their flagstaff firmly into the sand. They assumed that these pale-skinned mariners were the spirits of their ancestors … when gifts were exchanged on the beach the only curious sign had been the eagerness of the newcomers to retrieve the ticking timepieces that the natives had found a diverting novelty.”
Regarding the timepiece, Mary Durack said both people were mistaken, “for the clock was not a toy but a way of life, as the Dreaming was a way of life, the one defining time by an arrow, the other in terms of heavenly bodies and seasonal change”.
The clock is indeed a way of life for us. By the time you read this, ‘daylight saving’ will have begun again and, more significantly, some weighty decisions in the life of our Church could well have been made.
Given the production deadlines of Crosslight, this is both an awkward and opportune time to write a reflective piece about time.
As I sit in my room, pondering the plight of our synod, I well recall verse 8 in Psalm 62, which was used at my installation:
Trust in him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
I’m told that there is no consensus on the meaning of Selah: for my purposes, it means to pause; hang; catch your breath; stop here before moving forward.
Can it be linked with liminal space I wonder? – A place of transition, where something has been left behind, but the something new has not yet been entered into.
You’ve heard me quote Richard Rohr before. He has this to say about liminal space: “Nothing good or creative emerges from business as usual. This is why the work of God is to get people into liminal space, and to keep them there long enough so they can learn something essential. It is the ultimate teachable space … maybe the only one.”
Time is a holy thing. It’s mysterious and elusive while being practical and substantial.
Because our lives are measured by the passage of time, we can sometimes have an artificial sense of managing time. We can’t control time, but we can mark it. The web-definition of ‘mark time’ is – a time when people only move their feet (without changing location) to some tempo, usually “to the beat of a different drum.”
I’ll leave you with the different drumbeat of mystical poet Rabindranath Tagore. Its called ‘Time and No-Time’:
“Time is endless in thy hands my lord. There is none to count thy minutes.
Days and nights pass and ages bloom and fade like flowers.
Thou knowest how to wait.
Thy centuries follow each other perfecting a small wildflower.
We have no time to lose, and having no time we must scramble for our chances.
We are too poor to be late.
And thus it is that time goes by while I give it to every querulous man who claims it,
and thine altar is empty of all offerings to the last.
At the end of the day I hasten in fear lest thy gate be shut;
but I find that yet there is time.”