Even just the few pages I have read of Ann Voskamp’s writings have drawn me deeper into Truth. I just found her blog, read the latest few entries, and have only read chapter one of One Thousand Gifts. Her words, beautiful, raw– yet also polished with the sands of time, loss and love, bless and challenge me. Hearts grown through pain and suffering and that have yielded it all to the Cross have much to offer the world. The same hearts that have known deep pain have the tremendous capacity to also know unspeakable joy– all in the fullness and beauty of time– and that is something possible in the realm of the kingdom of God, where light outshines the dark, death becomes life, where the last are first, the weak become strong, and the impossible becomes possible. All I can say is: Thank you, God!
Our physical constraint is time, and it presses upon us continually, and we shuffle on, hurriedly, since we feel the weight of it pushing us on. We are aware of its passing, its ticking, so we run all the faster. We move on in blurs, in fast flashes, whiz on by. I’ve often thought while driving on the interstate, “Where is everyone going in such a hurry? what are we all up to? why are we all in such a rush? what does God think of all of this running around? do we look like mad chickens down here?”
The business of the world is urgent. That’s the world’s business– to convince us that it’s more important than what’s important to God… and so to use up one of the precious gifts God gives when he breathes life into us– the gift of time.
But God, up there, doesn’t live in our physical time constraint. He’s out of it. He’s not in our hurry. He’s got the whole of eternity in his hands.
There have been times I’ve looked up and cried, “Why are you being so slow, God?”
And the answer sometimes is, “Wait, child. Just wait on me.”
Wait. In time, in my time here on Earth– wait. Wait for Him to work it out, to answer it all.
And then He shows me that He can sum up all of time as I know it, in just one moment. A single moment of time, when a man, God’s own son, hung dying on a cross. All of time, all of life, and all that means anything and that which gives all meaning, is hung in that one single moment. At that moment, a man died, and the thin veil between death and life was torn. And that death made sense out of life. And when this life keeps on not making sense, I look back to that one moment in time to make it more clear once again.
I’ve got the time He’s given me, and it’s up to me to stop the other fluff-stuff– and hug my kids a little longer, pause to talk with someone, smile at someone, offer an ear and listen, take time to love on someone. Each moment not spent on love is to add another empty moment to the vast expanse of vaporous moments. Loving adds another moment of beauty and purpose to the thread of time and its people living in it with me. A loving moment is memorable and its power multiplies.
It’s up to me to stop to listen to God, and hear him speak, through the richness of the book He’s left me, and through the words he speaks to my soul when I hide from the rushing of the spinning world… and hear him talk to me, and let all of that goodness and love soak in. And when I go outside, the beauty of it all resonates with the incredible richness of what I’ve read and what I know about Him. Sometimes it speaks and sometimes it is singing volumes and new melodies my soul has never heard… and I sing back. I can’t help but sing back. That much– what I do– stop and listen, breathe in the beauty, let it sink into my every cell– that much, is in my hands.
The rest of it, though, how much time is left, and what He does with it, is up to Him. And that is a good thing. Because I’d surely mess it all up, if He weren’t in charge of all time, from beginning to end, and everything in between.